Monday, May 6, 2013

To Hardcover or to Paperback, That is the Question

(Pictures from


  • You feel like you're reading something holy, or at least something very intellectual
  • You're making an investment: Fo' sho' that if you buy the hardcover and like it, all of your descendants forever will be forced to read it
  • And it will be worth a lot of money someday (maybe. Okay, fine, I've read a lot of books about bookish guys that buy books even though they don't have anything to eat. A Tale of Love and Darkness, Lés Miserablés, etc.)
  • They're just plain gorgeous, and we all are cultivating gorgeous shelves, right?
  • There's a silent pact that you will take care of the hardcover
  • Heavy shit to have in the purse
  • You can't fit infinite of them into your backpack (tune in Rory Gilmore)
  • They're, like, a gazillion times more expensive
  • And you can't find every book in hardcover
  • Slightly more uncomfortable to read



  • Is it just me, or do they feel really artsy and hipsterish?? (I think I'm a wannabe hipster, guys, I confess.)
  • You can bend them and dog-ear them and get in with them into the bathtub. In short, the more tattered that they are, the more amazing that they look. (Hey, look, Barney Stinson, another thing that DOES get better with time.)
  • Long live marginalia (*see previous note)
  • CHEAP!!!! (In other words, money for more books!)
  • They are faithful companions, and are allowed to go with you eeeeverywhere. (Even then, I'm not the biggest fan of paperback editions, but they do have their use.)
  • Lend them to your bro, your sis, your cuz, your Ma, and pretty soon you have a book that's 30 pages shorter.
  • Let's face it, the previous note pretty much says it all. The paperback sort of defeats one of the main purposes of a book: IMMORTALITY!!!!

Even though it would seem I am much more in favour of paperbackss, I am an extremely unpractical person and the unbalanced pro/con list does nothing to soothe my dilemma.

Do you have any preferences? What are your arguments?

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