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I don’t buy many authors in hardback. For one thing, hardbacks are pretty ridiculously expensive here ($45 upwards). An author had to be in the I-absolutely-cannot-wait-even-to-get-it-at-the-library category for me to shell that out. At the moment, that category largely consists of Jenny Crusie, Terry Pratchett and Lois McMaster Bujold. Even then I’ll order them online if I can (though that’s not such a great deal at the current exchange rate unlike a few months ago *sigh*) or go to one of the specialist bookstores who imports direct from the US and may be a bit cheaper (Pratchetts tend to show up discounted in the chains straight away, thank goodness).

But I don’t like reading hardbacks, they’re big and awkward and the edges poke into you and I don’t like wrinkling the dust jackets so I always take them off and then worry about them getting wrinkled where I put them. And you can’t read them comfortably in bed. I think for most of my hardbacks, given they’re all by authors I re-read ad infinitum, I’m going to cave and buy the paperbacks too.

Lately I’ve been re-reading Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum’s because that’s what the girls have wanted. I’m up to number twelve and the last half of the series I have in trade paperback, because that’s what they’re first issued in here in Oz and the chains will usually discount the price down to pretty much the same as a mass market and I usually cave and buy one. But I don’t really like reading trades either, for the same sorts of reasons. Too big, too pokey, too awkward. Anyone else feel this way? Or do you like larger print, larger pages etc?

Now that I have a couple of good e-readers on the iPhone I’m actually starting to think that maybe I’ll buy my hardback authors in e-books where I can when they first come out and then wait for the mass market edition. I love mass markets, they’re the perfect size and I love the feel of the book in my hands (which is why I don’t think I’ll ever convert to only reading on e-book…particularly when most e-book editions are really not much cheaper than the paper book which seems to be a little bit of shall we call it opportunistic pricing by publishers, given they lay it out once (or maybe a few times for different formats) and don’t have to, you know, print the darn things). Maybe if someone comes up with an e-book that’s about the size of a mass market, that you can turn pages on, that smells like paper and ink and doesn’t cost hundreds of dollars to buy initially…

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