January 21, 2020

Image of an open book against a black background

​I’m a tactile person. I like to feel paper under my fingers as I read. To turn the page and see the bend of the spine. I also like hearing the page turn over. Hardcovers top my list, followed by mass-market paperbacks. Trade paperbacks, the ones that are not quite hardcover size, come third on my list. 

The only paper books I hate are the elongated mass-market paperbacks. The ones that are extra tall, but have the same width as a regular paperback. I tried reading one and had to put it down. The proportions of those things are creepy.

I don’t know why, but there’s something about reading a story in a paper version that makes the story experience special. Can I still enjoy a story in ebook format? Yes. In fact, some of the fantasy books I love, such as Brandon Sanderson’s, are so thick that I feel as if I need a series of pulleys and weights to prop the heavy book open. In those cases, I’m more than willing to read an ebook so my wrists don’t get sore with the strain. Although, I suppose I could start a strength training regime for my hands and wrists using those heavy books to strengthen my muscles so I wouldn’t need the ebook. Hmmm…

​I also find it easier to flip back through a paper book to locate a piece of dialogue or a plot point I want to revisit. I don’t find the search function on eReaders to be as helpful since I often don’t have a specific phrase to search on, just a vague memory of what happened and where it appeared on the page.

However, I will admit that having access to ebooks to my library has been extremely helpful lately. I read a book recently, in hardback, that ended on a cliffhanger. The library had an ebook of the next book in the series and I was able to check it out. Of course, I also put in a hold request for the hardback and will happily switch to that once it’s available.

Despite loving paper books, and wanting to own my favorites, there is the space issue. I’ve been slowly weeding through old books and getting rid of those I haven’t reread. But with some of the really older books, I’m aware that if I give up my copy, neither my library nor the online retailers have copies available. So some books are staying on my shelves for historic reasons.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

What’s your favorite book format?

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