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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Recently, I discovered my copy of To Kill a Mocking Bird was missing—and right when I wanted it. The rule of thumb for missing books in my house is: wait and it will turn up. Well, that was six months ago, and I still really wanted to read it again.

I live in a small town that has no bookstore. While I’ll sometimes order from Amazon, most often, I’ll wait until I go to one of our larger towns and then spend a wonderful hour walking through Barnes and Noble. This last time, I decided it was time to purchase a new copy of To Kill a Mockingbird.

I was slightly dismayed to only find a mass-market paperback. It’s been a long time since I purchased a mass market.

When I was in my teens, I wasn’t thinking about the long term when it came to books, I was just interested in something I could afford. Somewhere in my mid-twenties, I switched to trade paper, especially if I knew it’d be a keeper. I still rarely buy a hardback unless it’s on the bargain table, but I love when I find a good deal on one.

What about you guys?


  1. I HATE mass market. Those little fat books with the teeny print. I bought one recently and can't read it because A. it doesn't feel right in my hands and B. I'd need a magnifying glass.

    Now, if the book is a keeper, I'll start looking for a hardcover after that.

  2. Depends on the book. If I want to read it, then pass it along, I'll be trade paperback. If I want to keep it (either for research or my own permanent fiction collection), and can afford it, I buy hardcover. I'm much more likely to buy hardcover used, though, and trade paperback new.

    If money weren't an issue, I'd buy hardcover whenever possible.

  3. I love finding used hardcovers.

    And I agree with Gina's mass market issue, the books don't feel right in my hands.

  4. I don't know how many voted in the survey, but if it was a significant number, it's a telling survey.
    Hardcovers are great if you really like the book, but they're overpriced.

  5. Makes it a bit of a scary thought to have one's release published solely in hardcover, isn’t it. Could it potentially lose a percentage of the buying audience?

    On the other hand, if a hardcover is successful enough to re-release, people take note and buy the trade paper.

  6. Since my (aging) eyes are making small print more difficult to read, I prefer trade paperpack. As a matter of economics I will even sometimes wait for a book to come out in trade paperback, unless I'm really dying to read it and then I'll buy it in hard back.

  7. I love a hardback, of course, but when I buy a book, I'm after the least expensive format. Don't care if it's used or mass market paperback.
    And I'll only buy a book after I've checked it out of the library first to make sure I want to spend my money on it. I am a dyed-in-the-wool skinflint.


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