Literary Quote of the Month

“For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences,” … Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Demise of The Hardcover!

In November of 2007 The Guardian, a UK newspaper ran an article about some publishers opting to print new first run edition books direct to paperback. Hardcover first has been a 60 year tradition! But book sales in Hardcover has declined in recent years- people (and book clubs) are opting to wait for the paperback version that usually comes out a year after the hardback. And with the advent of e-readers like the Kindle by Amazon, the traditional form of books is changing.
As I was reviewing some interesting books this weekend, I happened to come upon a book that was published this past February IN PAPERBACK! by one of the publishers highlighted in the Guardian article- Picador. Now Picador is the 8th largest publisher in the UK and it carries some heavy hitters as far as authors - notably the author of The Road, Cormac McCarthy - so I was a bit stunned. I knew it was coming, but I just tried to ignore the inevitable. There are plenty of people who look forward to this change- the ability to buy that new book at a more affordable price. As for me I LOVE hardcovers! But alas I am also guilty of not always buying that hardcover (much to the pleasure of my husband). But hardcovers are special- there's a certain confidence instilled in them, a certain relevancy that makes them command more attention on the book table. Is it just because they are bigger and demand more room? Here's the link to the Guardian article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2007/nov/17/books.booksnews
And what book was I reading about? The Housekeeper and The Professor by Yoki Ogawa. Look for that review in upcoming posts!

2 comments:

Bev said...

This is sad but perhaps unavoidable. The world is funny. Why is it that there is so many items that have only a temporary use such as a serving of soda put in a plastic container that if not recycled will last close to forever, yet a book which could be passed on for generations is made from paper and now even the hardcovers that protect them are threatened?


Go figure : (

Suzanne said...

A sad but valid point Bev... beautifully written... I've always loved hardcovers and it's an interesting thought that hardcovers can offer us a connection with our past. My Mother has a children's book that she was given by her grandmother and it is a precious reminder of her.... Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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