I have a question for everyone: What is your preference between hardback books and paperback books? And not just in general, but new books, older books, favorite books, read-it-once-then-donate books, etc.

See, I work at a bookstore, and constantly I'll hand someone a hardback (because it's new or is still selling well even after being out for half a year or more) and they'll ask "Is it in paperback?" (Um, no, this new Dan Brown book came out yesterday. It's in hardback because they know they'll make more money by people who can't wait to read it.) (Rinse and repeat for Mockingjay, A Dance With Dragons, and Gone Girl, books that have been out forever.)

Now, I can understand that a paperback is lighter to hold and easier to take on trips, despite being cheaper. But whenever someone asks that my first thought is that they are cheap and can't appreciate the work the are holding in their hands. But customers have revealed that they prefer paperbacks due to being lighter, usually thinner, and easier to travel with.

For me, I love that I have some gems in hardback, because I know in 20 years they won't look like they'll fall apart ala The Time Machine. I'll definitely want to reread Neil Gaiman, JK Rowling, or Douglas Adams multiple times between now and my death, and these books will need to take a beating between my hands and friends borrowing them.

But I can understand wanting to pay less for a book you're unsure about or if money is tight. An $8 pocket paperback is more alluring than a $26 hardback for an impulse buy.


So, does anyone feel how I feel, or do you strictly buy a paperback, even if it means waiting 8 months to two years to read the new Neil Gaiman or George RR Martin?

(And don't get me started about graphic novels. Only the best of the best need to be in hardback to stand the test of time, dust, and rereads, but those have already been out so long they're only in paperback. And the new stuff most likely doesn't need to be in hardback.)