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Does anyone like reading hardbacks?

(26 Posts)
hackmum Sat 16-Aug-14 14:22:55

Just that, really. Before I had a Kindle, it used to annoy me that you'd have to wait several months between the issue of a book in hardback and it coming out in paperback. I would rarely buy the hardback, for two reasons: one, cost (they are so much more expensive); two, I don't like reading them, because they are so heavy and clunky and physically awkward to read.

Now I have a Kindle I can buy books by my favourite authors as soon as they come out (and I generally do!) Just wondered if there's anyone who actually prefers hardbacks and, if not, why do publishers still make them?

ClashCityRocker Sat 16-Aug-14 14:25:50

I hate hardbacks.

I find them difficult to read in a reclining position ie in bed or in the bath, and you definitely can't read them one handed!

I've often thought that hardback books are for people who have books 'for display' but don't actually read, or people who like to give books as presents, but don't actually read.

I love getting each new Stephen King in hardback, and I read them in the bath too. smile

SarahAndFuck Sat 16-Aug-14 17:45:30

I was just about to say, pretty much the only author I buy in hardback now is Stephen King grin

Although I've recently added his son, Joe Hill, to my list of hardback authors as well.

Everyone else has to wait for the paperback to come out if they want me to buy their book, or do me a good deal on Kindle.

I just don't have the space or the finances to buy hardbacks for every author, much as I would like to sometimes.


I haven't liked Joe K much so far. Read two of his, I think - Horns and something about a Box iirc.

TobyZiegler Sat 16-Aug-14 17:47:47

I hate hardbacks. I don't like the feel at all. I don't see why they bother with them to be honest.

SarahAndFuck Sat 16-Aug-14 17:59:01

Heart Shaped Box, which was better than Horns IMO. I gave my worst insult to Horns in a review when I said it was like something by Dean Koontz (who I used to love but now won't read at all, he's gone too weird and not in a good way).

NOS4R2 wasn't bad. It had some references to his Dad's books and I think SK repaid the compliment and referenced JH back in Doctor Sleep. And it had some lovely, creepy ideas. I loved the Christmas ornaments in the forest, and the game scissors for the drifter, and the idea of the bridge.

SarahAndFuck Sat 16-Aug-14 18:01:12

What I don't like (but will still buy for certain authors) are those giant paperback books that aren't hardback but are bigger than a normal paperback.

I don't get the point of those, except they seem to bring them out halfway through the time between releasing the hardback and the paperback. Middlebacks, I suppose you could call them.

No point to them other than to make you pay more for a giant paperback because you didn't want the hardback but can't quite wait for the little paperback.

NOS4R2 hasn't been available in the library yet. Keep meaning to order it - ta for the reminder.

Southeastdweller Sat 16-Aug-14 18:53:20

Can't be doing with them generally because of the reasons you and others have said. But I make exceptions for the lighter ones (A Curious Career, for example). I did buy Elizabeth is Missing and My Salinger Year the other day, however, based on reviews but they were only £2.99 each in charity shops and quite short.

I fell out of love with my Kindle last year so reading them on that isn't an option.

This autumn there's some big hardbacks that I just can't wait to read next year in paperback (David Nicholls, Stephen Fry) so will have to change my attitude I suppose, and strengthen my wrists or something.

I don't know why they're still published since the sales figures are so much lower compared to paperbacks confused.

SarahAndFuck Sat 16-Aug-14 18:57:45

I am stalking Elizabeth is Missing on kindle, waiting for paperback or daily deal, very jealous you found a copy in the charity shop smile

Same with Her by Harriet Lane.

insancerre Sat 16-Aug-14 19:00:45

I love hardbacks especially Stephen King
I have to have the book in hardback even if I have the paperback already
I also love my kobo but I don't feel like I own the books on it

BsshBosh Sat 16-Aug-14 19:03:16

DH and I buy first edition hardbacks of our ultimate favourite authors eg William Gibson, Haruki Murakami, Thomas Pynchon, Donna Tartt, Jonathan Lethem, Michael Chabon. We've also got first editions of JG Ballard (DH's collection) and Margaret Atwood & Zadie Smith (my personal collection) amongst others. It's a hobby I guess and I always just read them at home as they're too cumbersome to carry around (sometimes I duplicate on the cheap on my Kindle if I want to read out and about). I love the look and feel of HBs; like old vinyl LP covers.

joanofarchitrave Sat 16-Aug-14 19:04:32

Why do you like them insancerre?

I hate hardbacks as a rule but read a lot of them because I get most of my books from the library. And sometimes they are more stable, e.g. if I'm reading while doing something else, so it's easier to prop them up and keep reading. But give me a paperback any day.

I have a friend who bought a few flip books (paperbacks arranged the other way) but they don't seem to have taken off. She said they were easier to read on trains but I couldn't really see it.

BsshBosh Sat 16-Aug-14 19:07:04

And yes, our house is gloriously over-run with books despite having 3 Kindles. So much so that we're currently talking to builders about converting our loft into a library with guest bed.

Primadonnagirl Sat 16-Aug-14 19:15:20

Ooh I love a hardback! Think it's cos it takes me back to story time at school! If one of my fave authors has a new book out I simply cannot wait till t he paperback comes out. And don't even get me started on t he smell of new books!
Tried a Kindle but just can't adapt apart from on holiday when at least you don't have to lug a load of books with you !

NoSnowJustSand Sat 16-Aug-14 19:21:24

I love a hardback for Christmas, in fact I'm quite disappointed if I don't get one. I don't tend to read it in bed or the bath but rather curled up on the sofa whilst covered in a blanket and sipping hot chocolate. My favourite time of the year!

Just remembered that I always buy new Bill Bryson books in hardback too, but only on half price offers!

Primadonnagirl Sat 16-Aug-14 19:23:20

Absolutely NoSnow Hardbacks are a thing to be cherished!

RhinestoneCowgirl Sat 16-Aug-14 19:26:14

I like to read and I don't really care about the format that it comes in.

That said, I had Wolf Hall in hardback from the library and I had to admit defeat and buy it for my Kindle as it was so bloody cumbersome to read in bed.

I got my mum The Luminaries in HB last Christmas and she said something similar (she got an e-reader from my dad...)

magicalmrmistofelees Sat 16-Aug-14 19:42:18

I love hardbacks! So sturdy and satisfying to read.

ClashCityRocker Sat 16-Aug-14 20:59:00

Ooh, I really liked horns...wasn't so keen on heart shaped box, but liked nos4r2 on the second's a grower I think, I would certainly buy more.

How can you read hard backs in the bath? I must admit our bathroom is freezing so I do have to keep one hand in the water, but still....

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Sun 17-Aug-14 10:38:39

Hardbacks generally last better. That might not be an issue for mass-market books, but for anyone who seriously collects books it is.

Paperbacks are great because they are relatively cheap, relatively light in weight and take up less space on the shelf. Hardbacks, if they are good quality editions, should last for many decades more and sometimes forever.

It depends on whether someone just wants a book to read once or twice (in which case a Kindle may well be as good) or if they are collectors - at whatever level suits them.

A mixture in the MiddleLibrary, probably about 50% paperback and 50% hardback. Some academic reference books (related to my job) are only available in hardback.

Cheboludo Sun 17-Aug-14 20:26:00

I love any format as long as the paper quality is decent. If it's a really special book or a favourite author I prefer to have it in hardback.

SarahAndFuck (love your name) The large paperback you're talking about are trade paperbacks - they are usually the export edition of UK hardbacks. Not all books are published in hardback - often debuts are first published in trade paperback though some go straight to the mass-market paperback. You aren't in Ireland / N Ireland, are you? We get far more of the trade paperbacks here than in the rest of the UK due to Irish companies like Easons getting the export edition.

ChillieJeanie Wed 20-Aug-14 19:32:12

I always buy the latest Terry Pratchett in hardback the day it comes out. Some of the early ones I had in paperback but I've bought the hardbacks when I have come across them in charity shops. It really depends how far a series is in when I start buying them, so The Dresden Files and Lee Child are all paperbacks so they match. It's frustrating having to wait for the newest in the series to come out in paperback though. Too far in and the hardbacks can be difficult to find. But I have Kate Mosse's series in hardback, Deborah Harkness' trilogy, the Harry Potter novels.

Of course, for the books I really like, I get The Folio Society editions if they exist. So I've got le Carre's Karla trilogy, the boxset of Sherlock Holmes, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarilion, and a couple of childhood favourites like Rosemary Sutcliffe and Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising series, among others.

What I really hate is when they change the design of the covers midway through a series. It happened with Jo Nesbo and The Dresden Files as well, and it's very irritating when the neat row on the shelf doesn't match.

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