I Heart Paperbacks.

The thing about hardback books is that they are worth more than paperbacks. They have a greater value  and are often more carefully created. Which is why I don’t often chuck a hardback in my rucksack. They are heavy and their dust-jackets (which I always forget to take off) can get ripped fairly easily which always breaks my heart. I much prefer to have a paperback copy when it’s a book I want to read on the move.

I have some special hardback copies of novels that I LOVE. But they serve a different purpose to the paperbacks. I only read them when I’m in the comfort of my own home and some are there as much for aesthetic reasons as anything else.

My paperbacks are the rough and ready editions. Between broken spines and curled pages my paperbacks put up with a lot (especially when you have a rather excitable puppy who decides she would like to eat your book, I’m not sure those books have forgiven me yet…).  Sure, I’d rather they stayed pretty, but there are some situations where that isn’t possible. I always feel a bit gutted when my hardbacks are damaged but I can get through the pain quicker with my paperbacks.

There is also something endearing about a scruffy paperback.  They look loved. That’s the vital difference:  hardbacks should be cared for, paperbacks should be loved. Loved in the way my puppy shows her love for me, with a certain passion that expresses itself physically. A paperback, to me,  should show that it has been handled and read thoroughly by someone who truly enjoyed it. That’s something ebooks can’t replicate even though they are notably practical.

Sometimes when I really want a book I have to make the difficult decision to wait for the paperback. They aren’t as shiny as the hardbacks, but they are more practical. That’s the thing about reading paper books, it is a physical task as well as a mental ask. My hardback may be sturdier but my paperback is certainly spunkier.

Ren x

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6 responses to “I Heart Paperbacks.

  1. I do love books that are in a well-loved condition, especially paperbacks (the only reason why I own so many hardbacks is because I don’t like waiting), but the actual process of getting them to that condition practically destroys me. Whenever I see a new crease or scuff on one of my books, a part of me just absolutely panics. I do get over it once I get it scuffed up enough and come to love it, though 😛

    The only thing that I can’t take is when I get food on my books. Well, actually, let me rephrase that: when OTHER people get food on my books. I eat very carefully around my books, but for some reason, other people just can’t seem to help themselves. One of my friends accidentally dropped my book onto her pizza.* And one time a boy spilled milk on another one of my books, too. When this happens, I just hand off the food-stained book to another person, since I can’t help but feel completely grossed out.

    Yeah, I’m weird.

    *Looking back, it was pretty hilarious. Everyone got all shocked and my friend was sort of speechless. She paid me back with ice cream 😀

    • There is always an awkward middle stage involved in getting a book into well-loved condition. When a book looks just slightly tattered, to me, it looks wrong because the book is still perfect enough for me to want it to be wholly perfect. Then there comes the tipping point where the book becomes more tatty than perfect and then the worn-ness feels right.
      Sometimes I cheat my way to getting a well-loved looking book by buying second-hand copies because it cuts out the stress that comes with seeing a new copy’s ‘health’ decline. The downside with second hand copies is having to wait longer to get hold of the book but it’s a good way to access classics and older novels.

      Oh my gosh. Food is an exception for me too. I can imagine the pizza and milk scene happening in slow motion and the cry of ‘Nooooooo!’. But at least you were paid back for one of those incidents with ice cream. Ice cream makes everything better 😉

      • Further to the discussion about books getting messy: Over the weekend my puppy stood on my open book with her big muddy paws…
        There is a difference between a book being loved and a book being plain dirty.
        She’s lucky she’s so cute.

  2. I totally understand you here. I do love the prettiness of hardback books but I prefer my paperbacks because they’re just so easy to lug around. I don’t get too protective over them, I won’t let too sad if the cover gets damaged just a bit, they’re perfect for bouncing around in my backpack. Love this post! 😀

    • Hardbacks are very pretty objects but paperbacks are perfectly designed for adventures in a trusty backpack :). I’m glad to know I’m not alone in enjoying the practical side of a rugged paperback :3

      Thank you for reading my post!

  3. Pingback: Weekly Digest 01 | Read Me Away·

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