Friday, July 5, 2013

More than just a Paperback.

I read the other day that the humble paperback book is considered an endangered species. This was not really anything new except the paperback has always been my preferred choice in books.

I recently joined the Fibro Bookclub where the first book selected was Burial Rites. I knew I wouldn't get to to my bookshop for a couple of weeks so I decided to download the book and read my first proper eBook. When I say proper I mean a novel, not a how to book on how to bake seven cakes with just two ingredients*.

I used the Kobo app on my iPad to start reading. Burial Rites was well written and when I started it I was  really engaged in the story but the next day my list of paperbacks beside my bed just seemed more inviting than sitting in bed reading on a screen. When screen reading, as I moved about, the screen also scrolled vertical or horizontal when I didn't want it to and needed a flick here or there to get it back in place.

It took me a really long time to read Burial Rites. One night I headed to bed with my iPad only to find it dead flat, another night I really got into reading and managed two hours before the battery went dead. Other times the kids needed the iPad for something (possibly my sanity) and I chose a paperback from the pile instead.

At the same time, a friend lent me her paperback copy of The Rosie Project, (which happens to be book 2 of Fibro Bookclub). My favourite source of books to read is my friends. I like my friends, I like the things they do and be and read. Sharing of books is a very simple and highly underrated aspect of friendships. The sharing only occurs because of the trust that you will look after the book and secondly that you will return the book. The book share moment is a gift in many ways. It is also very economical, environmental and once you return the book you don't need to find a place for it.

The book share doesn't happen in ebooks. When I return 'Rosie' and we start chatting about our latest reads I can't hand over Burial Rites to my friend. I think Mr H would like to read it too, but I often work at night (on the iPad) when he gets a chance to read so it won't even work at home that well.

Apparently hard back books with all their weighty issues are not as endangered as the paperback. I don't get this either. I never buy a hard cover book if I can help it. They are heavy, the annoying dust jackets get ripped or fall off all the time, they take up too much space on book shelves and are certainly not handbag friendly, they also cost more to purchase.

The paperback book really does have so much going for it. Perhaps it's time for a Keep Calm and Read Paperbacks poster.



*this ebook may not exist, if it does I am sure it is really useful.

11 comments:

  1. I love paperbacks too. I'm all for technology, but I like to read books to switch off from tech and you can't do that with an ebook. I also realised that I like to see how far off the end of the chapter I am (constantly) which is also not as easy as with a book.

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    1. Exactly! You never really know if you should just read one more page. Also, for me, I thought I had 30 pages to go, but they were just the junk at the end, not the story.

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  2. I love paperbacks for all the reasons you describe. They're definitely my preferred form for reading books.

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  3. I love paperbacks too. I have never downloaded anything more than a short e-book. I really couldn't think of anything worse than reading a novel on a screen. I love to hold a book; there is something special about a paperback.

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  4. I like paper books and have many, but have also embraced the ebook, on kindle and ipad. My daughter and I are members of goodreads.com and we can see what the other is reading, what is on their 'to read' shelf, and how we have 'rated' individual books that we have read. The 'to read' shelf is handy, as for a recent birthday, I was 'gifted' some books on that shelf. Burial Rites was one of those.

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  5. I love paperbacks too though I don't love how they get all creased in my bag! You're totally on to something with the sharing of books description I think. And, you know I want to make that poster now right? X

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  6. It's books for me all the way! I must admit to a bit of flicking through towards the end (bad, I know) to see if I like the way the book resolves... you can't do this when you're perusing an e-book to see whether it's worth the whole read!

    But it's not just that, it's the whole thing - books layered in piles beside the bed, the thrill of being in a book shop and not being able to work out where to start, the feel of the pages, different covers...

    I just can't change the habits of a lifetime - I hope we will always, always have books.

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  7. With you 100% on this! I stare at enough screens, when I read a book I want to escape from that.

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  8. I totally agree. I love curling up with a paperback. Hardbacks aren't the same and neither are those tall hardback sized paperbacks.
    I've been reading on my ipad and iphone lately which is great for so many reasons (also, you should have a page lock function so it doesn't do the topsy turvy thing when you move - I have one). But I miss the paperback and you are so right about the sharing.

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  9. I bought my first kindle a few months back. I do use it but I still love a real book too. One good thing about the kindle is I can read if I wake up in the night and can't sleep without waking up Mr Me by turning on the light.

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  10. You can stop your iPad screen from flicking vertical and horizontal by using the little tab on the side (the one that on your phone turns it on silent) if you have selected the right setting in your general settings (http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4085)

    Otherwise I agree - nothing like a good real book, although the iPad can be very convenient at times.

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