Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hardback hateyness

I love Naomi Novik's Temeraire series and practically inhaled the first four in the series as fast as I could grab them. Then the fifth was released as a hardback. I haven't read it. I'm waiting for the paperback.

Same with Patricia Brigg's Mercy Thompson series, the fourth book of which will be released next week. In hardback. I won't buy it unless I can snag a cheap used copy. I'm waiting for the paperback.

I used to prefer hardbacks, but that was back when I worked for a big used book store and could choose the best copy of any book I wanted. Now I prefer paperbacks because they take up so little shelf and moving-box space. Plus all but the doorstopper epic fantasies (which I loathe anyway) fit in my purse or jacket pocket. And they're a lot cheaper.

Frankly, as a reader I'm annoyed when I have to wait another year or so for a paperback version of a book that's already been released. I know the publisher's just hoping I'll break down and buy the hardback for lots of extra money. I'm much more likely to buy a copy used and then not buy the paperback at all. Which doesn't benefit anyone: not the publisher, not the author, and not even me, because I've still got a big fat hardback taking up shelf space.

13 comments:

Jamie Eyberg said...

I don't understand publisher's logic either. Video releases used to be that way. You could get them in the video store well before you could buy them for yourself. Maybe they will soon understand the error in their ways and give the public what they want (although now they have three choices Hardcover, paperback or electronic)

Catherine J Gardner said...

I'm usually so impatient that I buy the hardback, and then I don't get around to reading it until the paperback comes out. Doh!

K.C. Shaw said...

Jamie--I hadn't thought about video releases, but yeah, it's a lot like that. At least right now the electronic release is soon after the hardback release. Maybe I should get an ereader....

Cate--Sometimes I get impatient too and get the hardback, if it's not too expensive. I've got several sitting on my to-be-read shelf that have been there, um, for a long time.

Jamie Eyberg said...

I think if I traveled more I would consider a Kindle or something similar. As it is, I can't justify the expense.

K.C. Shaw said...

Yeah, I don't really plan to get an ereader until they're $100 or less. Hopefully it won't be very long.

Aaron Polson said...

I prefer trade paperback to all other forms. The paper is usually nicer than mass market, but the book isn't as clunky as a hardback. Taken care of, a trade paperback will last as long as today's hardbacks.

None of these books are made like they used to be.

K.C. Shaw said...

You're right that MMPBs don't hold up very well--and I'm really hard on them. For some reason, though, I don't really like trade paperbacks. They have all the drawbacks of hardcover books without the benefits of MMPBs, I guess.

Aaron Polson said...

I blame my lack of love for MMPBs on my lousy eyesight and the migranes that come when I've strained at the page too long.

K.C. Shaw said...

Ooh, that would definitely do it. Maybe my problem is having small hands or something. I don't like having to manipulate a big book while I read.

Ace said...

At least with a MMPB, if you fall asleep while reading in bed with the MMPB balanced on your chest, it won't take your eyes out or break your nose.

K.C. Shaw said...

Lack of potential injury is one of the things I like best about MMPBs.

Jameson T. Caine said...

I used to buy a lot of hardbacks, but the cost and need for more shelf space convinced me to wait for the paperback. Now I won't even start a series until it's all in PB. Because of this, there are series out there that I have been waiting years to read (and in one case nearly 20 years).

K.C. Shaw said...

I'm bad about starting series and then not finishing them anyway (I get bored, or I forget about them, or I just don't get around to picking up the next book, etc.). My brother's more like you, though. He won't read a book if it doesn't already have at least one sequel out.