December 9th, 2007

cass groovy

the trade paperback

burger_eater posted a link to Tor's Tom Doherty on sales in trade and mass-market paperbacks. Doherty is concerned with the decline of traditional mass-market outlets, because it means losing lots of impulse buyers -- and potential repeat customers.

Which is all well and good, but it prompts me to ask: am I the only person who *hates* the trade paperback format? Like, SERIOUS HATE, if I had my druthers IT WOULD NOT EXIST AND THE PERSON WHO INVENTED IT WOULD BE FLOGGED. Ahem. But seriously, I do hate the trade paperback really a lot. I think it's a stupid idea: it lacks the durability of the hardback and the portability of true paperback, which means somebody sometime had the bright idea to annoy customers by combining the inconveniences of both formats and charging an in-between price for it. This may be convenient to the seller's profit margin, but it sure as hell doesn't meet my needs, and I don't buy trade paperbacks if I can get the book in some more intelligent cover. The only thing trade paper is good for is comic books. Text? If I want Serious Durability, hardcover. If I'm going somewhere with it, give me old-school paperbacks, every time.

Does anyone else feel this way? Or am I alone?