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  • Hardcover? Or paperback?
  • Illustrations? Or just text?
  • First editions? Or you don’t care?
  • Signed by the author? Or not?

I don’t have a preference for either hardbacks (hardcovers) or paperbacks, although I buy mainly paperbacks  because they are cheaper. Hardbacks can be a problem because of their weight and size, particularly when reading in bed, although paperbacks can also be huge and unwieldy and some are so difficult to hold open because they’re so tightly bound.  Another reason for buying paperbacks is that most paperbacks are much easier to carry around than hadbacks and I like to take a book with me just in case there’s an opportunity to read.

I don’t really like illustrations in novels, but I think they’re essential in non-fiction. Can you imagine an art or travel book with illustrations? Biographies too are much better with photographs or drawings.

I’m not a book collector in the sense of wanting to buy first editions. I can’t really see the attraction or why they are desirable.  It’s the contents of a book that interests me not whether it formed part of the first printing of the first edition and anyway there seems to be so much interpretation of what exactly is a first edition.

I have just a few books signed by the author and that does always seem to make the book that little bit more special, more personal and more valuable to me. 

16 thoughts on “Collectibles

  1. Indeed, contents are what most important. I’d prefer a paperback too as it’s cheaper and easier to carry around, hardcovers are limited to my favourite authors.


  2. I agree, its the words that are more important. A books value to me is personal,not based on its edition number. I agree on the idea of picturs in biographies though!


  3. I don’t mind illustrations, only if the story calls for it. I think most adult contemporary books aren’t fit to have illustrations. Paperbacks win mostly for portability and affordability, but in the end, so long as you have the story, that’s what works!


  4. Trade size soft covers are my favorite. It does not matter to me if there are illustrations or not, but it doesn’t seen necessary in most fiction. I have a few signed first editions, but I can’t say that is important to me (it just happened LOL).


  5. Content first. And as I grow older, font size. Which means that the mass market paperbacks of my favourites from the 1970s, the ones I still re-read, are being replaced with old attractive hardcovers. (And I enjoy the thrill of the chase to find them.)

    Other choices:
    -creamy white pages over brittle acidy brown pages
    -attractive, thoughtful cover art over generic, garish, chosen-just-to-be-sensational-even-though-it-has-nothing-to-do-with-the-story artwork
    -trade pb over hardcover (since they’re all competing for increasingly scarce shelf space)


  6. Hardcovers are also risky to read around water! I have ruined too many of them floating in the pool trying to hold on to them! Now I only read paperbacks around the pool.


  7. Oooh, you’re right, Carol and Barbara. Certainly when I’m rushing out the door to take public transit, I’ll grab the smallest, lightest book off the library pile to shove into my backpack.


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