Paper or Classic?

Eric from New York wrote: “Reese, why the hate for paperback books?”

Eric, I’m always amazed when my subtle clues are picked up by strangers.  I always assume I’ll slipped them in without being noticed. Well Eric, you caught me.  I do have a genuine dislike for paperback books.  If Pride and Prejudice had only been available in paperback, I assure you I would never have read it.  One could argue it would be my loss and I’d have to agree.  However, from as far back as I can remember I’ve hated them.  I’ve always believed that printing books in a paperback format, cheapens their value.  I do.  Writing is an art form I treasure more than any other.  Writers are usually layered and interesting.  Their talent can’t be measured in a statement; it takes volumes.  I suppose it’s why we write so much.  When a writer completes a manuscript there’s a sigh that is unlike any other sigh you’ll ever experience.  It is the sigh of accomplishment; the sigh that symbolizes that the character’s story has been told as best we can tell it.  When that story is validated by the agent and eventually (if you’re lucky) the publisher,your soul screams, thank GOD! And if that story is that good, that worthy, it needs to be bound in good stock.  Paper simply won’t do, sweet Eric.  I don’t like the look of a paperback, the smell, not even the size.  I love a good hard cover, a stiff one, if you will.  The pages between that cover seem more important, more worth the read. When I’m lucky enough to find a good vintage book, say something from Tremain or  Melville, it is in hardcover. I fall short of saying I absolutely despise paperbacks because of one rare exception: Carolyn See (the critic)  recommended The Way I Found Her to me back in 2004. I could not get my hands on a hardcover copy of the book. I searched endlessly for quite some time (two days). Because I make it a point to follow Carolyn’s instructions to the letter, I purchased the paperback.  I love that book.  I read it in two sittings (while on vacation) and absolutely loved it.  To date, it is the only paperback I own and a book I would never part with under any circumstance.  No doubt its the exception , not the rule.  I truly believe those who love books, love hardcover books.  I will try to be more subtle with my sarcasm regarding paperbacks, dear Eric.  But for those of you who missed the post it began: “Today I was approached by an old high school acquaintance. Her appearance offended then and it offends me now; covered in that get-up, carrying that tired paperback,”  Paperbacks aside, if you find something worth reading, read it.  If you want me to read it as well, make sure its available in hard cover.  I shan’t be doing that again!


3 thoughts on “Paper or Classic?”

  1. I guess I love paperbacks because I can take them with me wherever I go – my paperbacks tend to get much more love (as in, they never leave my side) than my hardcovers. I simply can’t take them everywhere and they stay on the shelf for the rest of their lives. I see what you mean though, and I had never actually thought of it that way!

    1. Thank you for your comment. You make a valid point. I do take my hardcovers with me. And I suppose we now have something new to contend with; e-readers. What do you think?

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