Books: Paperback? Hardcover? Leather-bound?

How do you like your books?

I have a small collection of Easton Press books; leather-bound, gilt-edged, acid-free paper. They look nice on a shelf (or shelves). They’re also enjoyable to read. There’s just something enjoyable about reading a ‘fine book’ that adds to the experience.

But I could buy a dozen or even scores of the same books if I buy paperbacks at a used-book store. The words are the same. The story is just as enjoyable. Most of my books are softcover.

Hardcovers are in between. Not as handy or as cheap as paperbacks, and not as tacitly pleasing as leather-bound. I prefer them for non-fiction books, but not for stories.

A lot of my reading is done in the tub, so paperbacks work for me.

I do think that leather bound fancy books are cool though.

It’s nice to see someone who just loves books for themselves!
I read all the time and would never purchase a Kindle or any other electronic device.
I don’t even listen to books on audio. I want to HOLD the book I’m reading, and I want to let my imagination create the sound of a character’s voice, not have it read to me in a pair of headphones.

I’ve got a couple of old books and I love to just hold them sometimes, LoL. I like the way the texture of the cover feels!

Going to a bookstore, even one of the chains is nearly a religous experience for me.

I feel sorry for this next, this “text generation” coming along who are going to lose the art of turning a page to get to the next part of the story. They’re already letting technology create what their own imaginations should be doing.

Read on! mgL

I prefer trade paperbacks. Hardbacks have the annoying dust jacket, and mass market paperbacks are too small and the paper is gray and cheap.

I really don’t have a preference for deckle edge/smooth edge. It’s marginally easier to find your page with the smooth edge.

I don’t much care for deckie edges. As you say, it’s easier to turn pages if the pages are trimmed.

Any format, as long as the pages are clean.

Paperbacks are good for toting around, hardcovers with dustjackets are good for keeping your place.

The only leather-bound books I’ve come across are religious in nature- bibles and prayerbooks. Not something you’d take to read on the plane.

I don’t buy paperbacks unless it’s an older book that that has never been published in hardback. I’ll buy leather if the price is nice.

paperback, mainly because you can hold it with one hand.

What kind of books are you reading, that you need a free hand? :stuck_out_tongue:

I have a few books in fancy bindings, if it’s something really special like The Hobbit (though looking at that link, it’s just “leatherette”, not real leather). But for most books, I buy the cheapest edition, because that means that I can afford to buy many times more books.

Oh, and of course the Necronomicon has to be bound in genuine human skin, accept no substitutes. But that’s a special case.

I’ve never seen anything in leather that I’d actually want to read; it’s either religious (as Malleus said) or a way out of date version of a classic. I’d rather read a more modern version, something that has a newer translation or better textual integrity.

I prefer paperbacks, the smaller kind; I read a lot, and having to wrestle with larger books gets really annoying.

Well, unless you had a really bad pilot…

Mostly paperbacks for me, at least for fiction – easier to carry around with me anywhere.

I have The Easton Press ones.

The book I’m currently reading, Tales Of The South Pacific, is a Franklin Library edition. From a distance it resembles the Easton Press leather-bound books; but it’s not bound in leather. Not all of my ‘nice’ books are EP. Some, like Michener’s book, have the raised spines and ‘gold’ markings; but have ‘hardcover’ covers. Others have fake leather. Book stores like Barnes & Noble have these, which are usually pretty cheap; but they look right at home with the EP books.

Incidentally, I really like the Easton Press products. I like the leather, and I like the 22 kt. gold, and I like the sewn-in bookmarks. However I have an aversion to having all of the ‘nice’ books by the same publisher. I like to mix them up.

Come to think of it, is there a way to easily and non-destructively tell the difference between real leather and the fake stuff? My copy of the complete works of Shakespeare, for instance, looks leathery, but I got it from a garage sale, so I have no clue of its pedigree.
And why is it that whenever anyone puts out a fancy edition of The Hobbit, it’s always green? You’d think you’d be able to find a red one.

I love Easton Press books, too, but man are they expensive. I’ve collected a couple dozen over the years, mostly from eBay. For the rest, I’m about evenly split between paperbacks and hardcovers. I always throw dustjackets out for my hardcovers. I hate dustjackets.

Barnes & Noble also has a small line of nice looking leatherbound books. I got myself a leatherbound anthology of Edgar Allen Poe from B&N last Christmas.

I have that one, thought I don’t think it’s leather. Also a green leather-like edition from Octopus Books I got in the early-'80s. I’m pretty sure my Shakespeare came from B&N as well, plus some others.

I have four three-foot shelves with my ‘fine books’ on them. Paperbacks, softcovers, and hardcovers take up considerably more space. (Actually, most of them are in boxes, awaiting a room remodel and more shelves.)

Cute. But seriously, don’t you always hold books with one hand so you can turn pages with the other?

That’s why the best books for me are ones that fit easily into one hand and don’t try to shut themselves every moment, forcing me to apply continue pressure. A moderately-sized hardback is best for that purpose.

Other than that, books are for content. I read every possible size and style. I even have a Kindle 2. I’d much rather read from a real book but not having to deal with 600+ page books while traveling or in a hospital bed has significant advantages. Though I wish the large-sized Kindle had been cheaper, because that sure looks like a better platform, closer to book size.

The is The Straight Dope. Somebody was going to say it!

I tend to read while reclining on the couch. In such a position, even a heavy book can be held comfortably in one hand.

Trade paperbacks (in addition to being cheaply available at the used-book store) are better for taking along places, as they can often be slipped into a back- or jacket pocket.

Yes. And not too wrinkled, especially if the wrinkle is from dampness.

Lately I’ve been paying more attention to the font and the amount of white space on a page. I love Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature.

Any format is fine, but I like series books to match.