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I checked in at the Booking Through Thursday blog, which is the host for a weekly book meme or blogging prompt. Here is this week’s prompt:

All other things being equal, what is your favorite format for reading? Hardcover? Paperback? New book? Old book? Leather-bound first edition? E-book?

My preference is trade paperback that I can bring with me everywhere I go without being too heavy in my bag. Hardback is too bulky to hold while I read and I am not a huge fan of the “artisan” hardback that has decked cut. New and old don’t make much of a difference but I do like the old book in good condition and free of markings.

E-books. I’ve said enough about them. I don’t dislike e-books but I prefer paper. Tactile pleasure. Browsing the bookstore. Imagine no more bookstore browsing when every book is under your fingertip?

Despite the advent of the eBook, there’s something about the paper format that appeals to us; paperback or hardback, old or new, the physicality of a book can be as much a part of its appeal as the words contained within. Who doesn’t love opening a new book and inhaling that fresh printed smell? Or better yet, an old book with its slightly musty, woody scent? Printed books, physical as they are, are as much about form as function, and we often take as much pleasure in collecting and displaying them as in reading them.


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