Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

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:
And what book was I reading about? The Housekeeper and The Professor by Yoki Ogawa. Look for that review in upcoming posts!


Anonymous 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 Yester 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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