Thursday, September 9, 2010

Paperback, Hardcover, or eBook?

When it comes to books, I'm an old-fashioned gal. I like to flip the pages when I'm reading. I like the smell and feel of the book. I know some people love e-books for their convenience and price. I was surprised to learn that a lot of people still love paperbacks. I read in Publishers Weekly that Barnes & Noble recommends paperbacks. Read the article below from September 7, 2010.

Starting this month Barnes & Noble is extending its B&N Recommends program (, which it launched four years ago for bestselling hardcovers like Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows’s Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, to include trade paperbacks.

“Trade paperbacks are the format of choice for many of our bookstore customers,” said Patricia Bostelman, v-p of marketing for B & N, “and we’re excited to be able to expand the Recommends program and suggest great titles selected by our knowledgeable and passionate booksellers.”

Each month buyers will choose two paperbacks, either reprints or originals, one in fiction and one in nonfiction, which will be featured in B&N stores across the country. The September selections, on sale today, are: Jeannette Walls’s Half Broke Horses and Sue Monk Kidd’s Traveling With Pomegranates.

What about you? Which one do you prefer?


  1. I'm a paperback kind of guy. I can count my hardcovers on my fingers and I have, literally, one e-book.

    Paperbacks are cheap and nice and to me, they have become the reality of readers. They are what readers buy.

  2. I like mass market paperback best because it's cheapest and I can fit more on the shelves (two deep, two high on each shelf). But I probably buy more trade paperback size because that's where the best stories get published. Hardback--only if I'm too hooked to wait. And eBooks are nice for reviewing but not so fun to read on the computer. eReaders are nice to look at but too expensive.

  3. Hi Ben,
    I have both: hardcovers and papebarcks. If I love the book, I don't mind either bound. I love books in general so I take good care of them.

    Hi Sheila,
    You're right about the price for paperbacks. Although, eBooks are the new trend, I can't seem to be a groupie ;)

  4. Hardbacks are an endangered species. In five years, trade paperbacks will be the shad being ripped open for its roe.

    When e-readers are priced $65 and lower, you'll see traditional publishing houses gasping like carp thrown on the river bank, if they don't change their way of doing business.

    You'd think that would be good for authors, but the marketing plethora on the Internet, will just make it harder for us to be recognized, differentiated from all the self-published muck.

    (no offense intended to any of you who've chosen the self-publishing route)

    But who/what will be the new standard of excellence? Bad enough society has so many diversions that compete with the written word.

    Regards, Mac

  5. Hi Mac,
    Thanks for dropping by. Hmm, you raise a good point. Nonetheless, there are some good self-published books out there. I love hardcovers but if they're too expensive and they're becoming the minority then yes, ebooks and softcovers will prevail.

  6. Great post Claudia! I am a book gal myself, call me old fashioned then! I don't think I will ever go over to e-books. I like both hard covers and paperbacks and depending on the author sometimes I will wait for the paperback to come out because of the expense.

  7. Hi Cathy,
    Well, I guess we're two old-fashioned gals ;) But truth be told, I think a lot of people think like us when it comes to paperback preference. As always, thank you for leaving a message.

  8. I love hardbacks. But they are soooo expensive down in Oz (usually $45 - $70). So I usually make do with paperbacks.

  9. I've popped over to say a big hello to you and your fab blog.

    Oooh paperback or hardback? I love both! Because of their expense, I savour hardbacks that are first editions and special editions and never open them from their wrapper - cos I do the silly thing and buy them in paperback forms. Paperbacks are brilliant for someone like me on a budget.

    Hooray for B&N!

    Take care

  10. Hi Al,
    Nice to see you on this side of the pond ;)
    How is your swan family doing? I didn't know Aussie hardcovers were that expensive. Ouch! Smart move...I would buy papaerbacks too at that price. Cheers!

    Hi Old Kitty,
    I welcome you and Charlie to my community. I guess paperbacks are the readers choice by default. I'll be dropping by your neighborhood to read more about Charlie's antics since I already have a VIP card ;)

  11. Hardcover: 0%
    Softcover: 60% (Still love the smell of books.)
    Kindle: 40% (Love how fast I get my books.)


  12. Hey Claudia,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog :) As for which I prefer. . . hardbacks. Nearly always. And boy do I get told off for it! But I just love them :p Not such a fan of e-books. . .


  13. Hi Clarissa,
    My percentage is a bit different. I guess your 40% in Kindle would be my 40% in hardcover ;)
    Thanks for stopping by.

    Hi Dawn,
    Welcome to my community! Nice meeting you. Thanks for sharing your comments. I'll be dropping by your place soon. ;)

  14. The choice of medium truly doesn't matter to me. I love to read, and have a collection of hardbacks, trade paper, and mass market books that I liked too much to give away. One day before too much longer, I plan to get an e-reader, but I don't yet know what I want.

  15. I love e-readers for the convenience - and for the fact that any e-book I sell, I get a higher royalty!

    But yes, I do still like physical books, too.

  16. Hi Carol,
    I hope you find a good home for all those books you have. Perhaps you could donate them to the local library, or exchange them with your girlfriends while having a tea/book exchange party. What do you think?

    Hi Talli,
    Lucky you! High royalties ;) that's quite an incentive for eBooks. Perhaps one day, I'll give them a try.
    Have a great weekend!

  17. Claudia, first of all I want to take a moment and apologize for not popping by earlier. You left a wonderful comment associated with a poem by Thomas Hardy that I had posted on my blog. Thank you for that!

    Secondly, I want you to know that I love your blog! This is terrific, and I am very much looking forward to spending some time this weekend roaming around and seeing what I can find.

    Finally, in answer to your question, I am primarily a hardback guy for books that I know I want to keep and re-read for years to come. I also have shelves and stacks of quality paperbacks too. I have one rule--I do NOT buy mass-market paperbacks--Ever! No exceptions! I also do not own an e-reader, nor do I contemplate buying one. I love the feel of books, the smell of books, and mostly I love to annotate my books. I am at the age in my life where I love to identify connections, underline key points, and just generally scribble my thoughts and assessments in the margins, and at the end of chapters.

    Great question, and a terrific blog! Cheers! Chris

  18. Hi Chris,
    Thank you for your kind words and welcome to my community. Glad to hear you like my blog. I'll hop over yours to see what you've posted lately.
    See you in the blogosphere!

  19. I like hardbacks best, but have to settle for paperbacks often because o the cost. I read quite a lot of manuscripts on my computer, for critique partners if it wasn't for the cost of printing it off and the ease of editing on the computer I'd much rather do it the old fashioned way. I don't see an ereader in my future very soon, but my teenage daughter will probably get one for Christmas...

    Great post and thanks for stopping by my blog.

  20. Hi Sharon,
    Welcome to my blog! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this post. I'm following you now ;)
    Have a great weekend!

  21. Definitely physical, actual BOOKS, either paperback or hardcover. There's just nothing like curling up with a good BOOK. Curling up with an e-book just isn't the same!