23 December 2013

Hard vs. paperback vs.ereader

I love books and I love reading often choosing it over other activities like TV. I've been traveling with my ereader and I love  having multiple books in just a few ounces of weight. Passing thru airports I still have a gut instinct to want to go into the bookstores. 

Clearly additional weight is not added by shopping, only by buying. I have to be disciplined or I will still succumb because I do love paper books, but my back doesn't like carrying them. 

All this looking got me thinking about the various merits of the different types of books and why over the years I have purchased various formats.

I love the way hard backs look on a shelf. There's a presence and definitely more majesty to them than worn paperbacks. Another advantage I like in hard backs is that they are easier to convince to stay open while my hands are busy, usually eating. I love to read while I eat. I have never been a habitual reader of hardback books mostly because of price. I was never sure what to do with the dust jacketeither Keep? I feel obligated to keep it. But if you want a shelf of black or leatherette books the dust jacket detracts, but I understand the books may be worth more with them.  I disliked the idea of discarding them, but they often tore and seemed less dignified then.

 If you read an earlier blog of mine,  I talked about finding books hanging around my parents' or grandparents' houses, so I didn't come into the idea of buying new until later and I was quite poor in that phase of life. Hardback purchases were generally only done if they were on sale and then likely only if it was a favorite author.

Since I mostly scavenged books for a long time, I was rarely up to date with an author's releases so buying the paperback was never a hardship of waiting for me. 

I love the way paperbacks can fit in a bag or sometimes a pocket. I used to feel really weird and insecure about leaving the house without a book so paperbacks fit my life easier. I learned the art of eves deopping  and people watching so it doesn't stress me out so much anymore to not have a book on me daily. Odd observations of people end up as bits in books I write later I find.

I like the friendly feel and the price of paperbacks, but they don't stay open as easily when your hands are busy, say eating. I don't break spines on books for me that's a no-no, so it's about finding random things and using the edge of plates trying to prop them open. It wasn't always tidy. 

I also like the colorful creative covers of paperbacks but those clearly don't lend the elegant look to the bookcase. I like owning a quantity of books and that was easier with the price of paperbacks. 

Size matters for me. That's why I recently switched to a mini ipad. The full size was too much weight for taking on the run or for a long day when you weren't sure of reading time. Like a hardback.  I'm very happy with the new size and I love that you can prop up ereaders (with the right case) for hands free reading, great for eating. Smile. 

The odd dilemma I have on ebook purchasing is my old price habits. I don't mind paying up to paperback prices but when we get up to $12-15 that starts to feel like hardback rates but without the sort of visual benefit of that book on the shelf. It's probably my old cheapskate ways. I know with my brain that $12 is not a hardback price, but so far I haven't been able to bring myself to pay that much. The virtual bookshelf I like well stocked, colorful and affordable. Oh but I love having many books with me and not worrying about coming to an end without a new book nearby. I WILL admit to worrying about wifi and fresh downloads though.