Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hardcover, trade paperback, or mass market?

When it comes to buying novels, what size/type do you prefer to purchase? Do you go for the hardcover version? Do you like trade paperbacks? Or do you prefer mass market paperback books?

What influences your book-type purchase--durability? Cost? Size? Type of book? Who the author is?

As for me, I rarely buy books in hardcover due to the high cost. It has to be something absolutely spectacular for me to do so. I actually don't remember the last hardcover novel I've purchased.

My favorite book size tends to be trade paperback (and luckily for me, there are tons of YA novels that come out in this size). I'll typically wait until a hardcover book comes out in this size before buying it, even though that usually means waiting a while--the prices for YA trade paperback are usually very reasonable, and that's a hard allure to resist, because that means I can buy more. LOL.

If, however, given a choice with the same book between trade and mass market, I may buy the mass market version, since it's sometimes much cheaper. But if it's only a marginal difference, I'll still buy the trade paperback size, since I prefer that one.

How about you?


  1. Dude, we share a brain. I'm not kidding. My buying habits are exactly the same way as yours. I rarely if ever buy hardcover...I will usually wait until it comes out in trade or mass market. If I absolutely must read it right away, I'll get it from the library (and then if I love it then I'll usually buy the trade or mass market version when that comes out).

    I just find hardcover books to be too expensive, particularly when it's an author I'm not familiar with. Plus, they don't fit nicely into a purse. And yes, that's a consideration. An important one.

    When given a choice between trade and mass market, I love trade. I love the feel of the cover, love the heavier paper, love how much more durable it feels. And most YA trade paperbacks are around $9.95 (and the mass market $7.95, so not a big difference in price).

    But if there's a massive difference in price (for example, if the trade is $15 and the mass market is $6.95) then I might get the mass market, especially if it's an author I've never read before. That way I can buy 2 books for the price of one. Besides, mass market paperbacks fit much more nicely into a purse than do trade paperbacks (although trade fits much better than hardcover).

  2. HAHAHAHA dude, we TOTALLY share a brain. That's exactly how I purchase books, too. Seriously.

  3. Kai Pollard10:55 AM

    I prefer mass market paperback. I like uniformity on my bookshelf and this is the size of most of my books. Also, they're the only size book that can fit in all of my purses.


  4. Well, I’m going against the flow here. I always buy hardback if it’s available and have been know to wait to buy a sequel until it is in hardback. There is something nicer to me about them. I dunno, maybe I’m weird!

  5. I go for whatever form I can find, myself. :)

    I just purchased an Italian language version of "Watership Down" for €28.00 yesterday, and I'll often seek out good-condition first-editions when I'm at McKay's books in Knoxville (used bookstores are your friends, folks!). That's where I got the first three Harry Potter books on the cheap.

    Occasionally I'll indulge my hardcover habit when I plan on getting the book autographed, too.

    By and large, though, I'll go for the softcover/paperback/whatever you want to call it this week. LOL!

    Oh, heck! I'll take a book in any form I can!


  6. hey, it's good for people to buy hardcover, too!! to me, so long as books are being bought, that's the important thing. :D

  7. I like trade best for readability, but mainly buy mass market for affordability reason!

  8. Anonymous12:51 PM

    I like trade or mass market paperback. Hard cover books are too expensive for me (unless I can get them in a bargain bin). Besides, I like being able to fold my covers and pages around however I like. I'm tough on my books.

    --Dara England

  9. I rarely buy hardcover or trade due to both size and cost, unless it is something I *really* want to read and can get at a good discount (for example, the Lacey Alexander bought last weekend). I much prefer the more portable and affordable mass market, and not the over-size ones, either (you know, the ones that are an inch taller than regular mass market books). I will pass on mass markets that are over-size, no matter how much I may like the author. I find them more difficult to hold and they don't fit on my shelves with the regular mass markets.

  10. I'm a digital girl. I have an ebookwise and mini laptop. Both fit in my purse. So, most of my purchases this year are ebooks, and the paper books I read were either contest wins, giveaways from conferences, or impulse purchases at the grocery store. OR purchased for my daughter and read by me after her.

  11. For me it's about the print size so whichever has the best size print is the one I go for but paperbacks fit best in my handbag.

  12. I buy hardbacks for authors I know I love, and otherwise, I prefer trade paperbacks. I hate the small print size of mass-market paperbacks, and I hate that it takes so much work to hold open that size of book without creasing the spine (and I hate spine creases!)

    (BTW, ever since you guys reformatted the blog to have blue lines throughout the posts, I have a lot more trouble reading the blog....) :-(


  13. Gwen, good point--I didn't put ebooks in there, though I should have. Thanks for pointing that out!!

    Cara--thanks for the feedback!! Sorry it's not reading as clearly...maybe Kristen can fix it for us.

  14. I usually buy mass market, because in both fantasy and romance (which is the majority of what I read), it's very common for the trade to be twice the price of the mass market. I really don't like slapping down $15 (or more!!) for a book I don't know if I will enjoy, particularly when it's a new author.

    YA's trades are much more affordable, maybe a dollar or two more than an adult mass paperback. I have LOTS of YA trade.

    That said, I actually like the size of mass market best. Trades can be unwieldy for me to handle when my wrist tendinitis is acting up (which has thankfully not been a problem in a long time). They're even worse than hardcover for that, because the h/c, I can put in my lap and the pages will stay open. Trade... not so much. >_>

  15. If I am going to want it forever, to read and re-read, I buy the hardcover. Not often.

    I like the weight and feel of a trade and never hesitate to pick one up because I find them pretty fairly priced since a lot of paperbacks went to 8 bucks.