- 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.