Booking Through Thursday: Hard? or Soft?

This week’s question at Booking Through Thursday:

All other things (like price and storage space) being equal, given a choice in a perfect world, would you rather have paperbacks in your library? Or hardcovers? And why?

At the risk of being considered shallow in my love of books, I confess the tactile element of bookish-ness is very important to me.  How does the book feel in my hand – is the spine narrow and elegant, or thick and cumbersome?  Is the cover slick and glossy to touch, or smooth and muted?  Does the book fall open easily, welcoming me back inside, or is it reluctant to stay open, it’s pages coyly turning inward?

I love hard-covered books – a stack of them piled high on my table says, “here is wonderful, serious reading to be done, words of great importance are sheltered in these firm walls, rich, delicious words are at home here in this lovely vessel.”

A library room, floor to ceiling shelves lined with hardcover books…


12 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday: Hard? or Soft?

  1. I agree with you on the way the book feels and looks. And you have a beautiful way of describing the way books make you feel. I especially loved this line —> “Does the book fall open easily, welcoming me back inside, or is it reluctant to stay open, it’s pages coyly turning inward?”

    Me.. I want it all… lol… a beautiful library and paperbacks I can read while I snuggle with my hubby.

  2. I agree with you 100%. I love the way hardcover books look sitting on a shelf or on a table. Though I do read all of my books, I enjoy using them to decorate my house, as well. How geeky is that?

  3. Hmmm. That’s a toughie and I guess my answer represents my world of contradictions. For the “nice” books, the ones I really treasure, I generally prefer the hardcover. Those are the ones by a favorite author or especially those with gorgeous images or binding. (I’m like Lisa — I decorate with books, too, especially children’s books at the holidays!)

    For the quick reads or “working books” (those are the ones where I might use them for reference and leave a note in the margin or on a postit), I like paperbacks. Plus, they can travel easily, fit into the purse or totebag, perfect for doctor offices, trains, or unexpected waits!

    And I never take a hardcover to the beach! Most of my mystery series are paper, and except for a few series (like Maisie Dobbs, among others), I like to buy them used! I imagine that someone else was reading this mystery and trying to figure it out as well. The energy of the previous owner or reader seems to spill into the pages!

  4. Great answer about hardbacks! 🙂 Me, I love ’em both, for different reasons. But you can’t beat the weight and heft and smell of a hardback — I, too, have a tactile love for books.

    Happy BTT! 😀

  5. I’m hopelessly biased in favor of books with interesting cover art. I really don’t like spending the money to get hardcovers, and paperbacks are more portable. I can be hard on my books though, and the paperbacks don’t always hold up as well. My husband is a major hardcover fan, so we kind of compromise.

  6. My library is full of a wide mixture of hardcovers and paperbacks. I treasure most of them, but those leather-bound hardcovers with the creamy pages, they feel so delicious in my hands. They just feel like so much more physical quality.

  7. Oooh yes, books are very touchy feely. When I am lucky enough to receive a parcel of books in the post, I always give them a good cuddle before I put them on the shelves. Oh dear, did I really say that out loud?

  8. I’m a total snob about books (and wine!)…I much prefer a hardcover to a soft. There is something about the substance of a hardcover book that makes me feel the “weight” of the words I am holding in my hand.

    That makes it sound like softcover or paperback are “fluff” when in fact they are not. But I would take “soft cover” over paperback any day of the week.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s