Perfect Library Format: Booking Through Thursday

Format February 21, 2008

Filed under: WordPress — –Deb @ 1:18 am 

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All other things (like price and storage space) being equal, given a choice in a perfect world, would you rather have paperbacks in your library? Or hardcovers? And why?


At one time I was only interested in buying hardcover books, because I was newly married and loved the way bookshelves looked (with books on them!)  Mine were basically empty so I needed to start filling them up, and let’s face it, hardcovers look better on the shelves.  But that was then.  Now I almost never buy hardcover books.  I prefer the feel of a paperback in my hands.  They are more portable, lighter, easier to hold, and definitely more affordable.  I can dogear or highlight without guilt.  I’m not worried about a kid with sticky fingers touching my books if they are paperbacks.  I want them to be accessible to the whole family.

It’s funny, though, I rarely keep my books anymore.  Once I’ve read them, I lend, share, send, donate, and leave behind all my best books.  People who know me will tell you that I am the type to constantly be pressing a book into their hands, no doubt annoying the heck out of them (at least I don’t drive them insane by asking them, “Did you read that book I gave you?”).  The only books I make a point to keep are the ones we read with my book club so that I can reference them later if I need to.  

But the question was about a library, so..  I’m thinking, is this a library I want to use all the time?  Or one I want to impress others?   If it’s purely about looks, then fill it with hardcovers.  If it’s about practicality and ease of use, bring on the paperbacks.  The exception would be my best loved, most cherished books.  I’d want them in hardcover, so that they’d last longer, but probably after I’ve read them in paperback.  Must I make a choice in this perfect world we’re talking about?  Can’t I have both? And can someone else please do the dusting in this perfect library?



13 Responses

  1. Ah yes, I thought about the dusting issue as well. I’m definitely going to want someone to come along once a fortnight a so and give them a really good cleaning.

  2. Now I really wish we lived closer…I love my friends who press their books on me!

    Good call on the need for someone to come through and dust…definitely something that I don’t get around to near enough. 🙂

  3. I love owning, holding & looking at books. I always keep my books much to my wife’s chagrin. My mom lets them go and so does my best friend…lucky me. I prefer hardcover because they look and feel better and I hate to bend my books and tend to do that with the softcover.

  4. I like hardbacks better because they don’t disintegrate after several re-readings. They’re more sturdy! But paperbacks are definitely more convenient sometimes… my library’s a mixture. The only books I shy away from are those mass-market paperbacks!

  5. For some reason, I only keep the self-help books. Maybe because I never really read them. ha! I seem to give away and lend out my books, too. (Trish – if you see any on my latest post you want, let me know.) I like tradeback sizes. When I want a hardcover book, I try to go the library route.

  6. I tagged you for a meme, too.

  7. I am a book hoarder. I can’t part with my books.


  8. I really do prefer the paperbacks. So much easier to take along to work…. so much simpler to hold with one hand while reading in bed! It’s a rare book (hardback or paperback) that I keep. I love to share them and I’ve recently found a fabulous website
    where you can share your books and also GET books. Definitely worth checking in to! JUST finished Snow Flower the other day and am so excited to see “Peony” out in PB!!

  9. I was just reading Care’s latest post and the comments. You know, I didn’t like The Memory Keeper’s Daughter either. I thought I was all alone in the world.
    So now I’m calling you my internet twin.

  10. When I was a little girl and I began to really read, I loved looking through the shelves of books my mom had. It was like my own mini library. I always hoped my two kids would do the same. My daughter doesn’t read much fiction though, and my son used to read more, mostly John Grisham type stuff, but now he doesn’t have much time for reading. Now that he and his wife are expecting I’m hoping for a little reading grandchild! I keep books I like, paperback and hardcover, and the rest I donate:)

  11. I’m not dusting; don’t look here! *g*

    Seriously, I, too, love to share my books. I do a LOT of online trading — and giving away, too. Books are meant to be shared; they come to an even fuller life that way.

    As for format… you’re right. Hardbacks generally do last longer. That means more reads. On the other hand, though, my township lets us recycle dead paperbacks… Hmm…. You’re right. We should get to have both.

  12. I’ve struggled through this same dilemma. I wanted only hardback and then realized it was unrealistic. I no longer care– especially when I realized paperback = more money left over = more books for me! All of my most cherished books have been purchased in hardback, though.
    I RARELY part with my books. I only lend them to people I trust and who know how anal I am about it. I’ll give you the shirt off my back, but don’t ask for my book. ; )

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