At the beginning of this month, the Canadian penny was retired. By the end of it, the pope will be gone, too.
With any luck, 2013 will see a similarly bold, progressive shakeup for the books world: the year the hardcover finally disappears. By all means, let’s thank it for its many years of service, give it its brass ring, and raise its jersey to the rafters. Then let’s tell it to scram.
For my own personal reading interest, I say AMEN, BROTHER! I’ve always hated the expensiveness and overall bulkiness of hardcovers. Sure, they’re pretty, and yes, they’re more durable, but does that really compare to a small, lightweight paperback you can conveniently toss in your purse? I always try and hold out buying a book until the mass market edition to be released (hello, A Dance With Dragons paperback, where are you?! *Pulls at hair*)
With that said, I completely understand why libraries would be against the hardcover format being abandoned; hardcovers and trade editions make up the bulk of most library’s fiction collections due to their longevity. Their tear-resistant covers and quality binding make for a much longer shelf life as opposed to their flimsy paperback counterparts, which while more convenient for many people, don’t last through many circulations before having to be thrown away.
What’s your opinion? Hardcover books: impractical money grab or worth keeping around?