I’m a Paperback Kind of Girl

I want to confess something: I love paperback books.

Yeah, I know that ebooks are cheaper and easier and generally awesome, but I love my paper. 

I grew up in a house filled with books. I think literally every room had a bookshelf in it. In fact one entire wall of my mother’s spare bathroom is a large bookshelf. So if you if have to be constipated, that’s the room to do it in, my friends.

Books were the landscape of my childhood. They were always present, dusty and cluttered on tables and sometimes in stacks on the floor. I think their presence in my life was what made me a reader. Yes, my parents read to me and encouraged me to read, but they also surrounded me with books. I assumed everyone’s house was like that, a little dusty, with teetering piles of fiction on bedside tables. I thought everyone read before bed, like my mother did, or spent lazy Saturday mornings on the couch with a book and a plate full of snacks between us.

When I went to school, books were not threatening or challenging; they were something totally familiar and comforting to me. I associated the smell of new hardcovers and used paperbacks with my mother, a voracious reader herself. When my teacher friends tell me that they have kindergarteners who don’t know how to hold a book, how to orient it, my heart breaks a little.

I totally jumped on the ebook bandwagon when it came out though. I got a Nook, then a Kindle, and realized the pain of clicking buy impulsively when my credit card statement came. One month I spent almost $400 on ebooks. Oops.

There are tons of reasons to love ebooks. I think digital publishing would have changed high school for me completely. I remember reading Harlequin Presents in high school, breaking the spines because I smashed them down on the table in study hall so no one could see I was reading The Greek Tycoon’s Virgin Amnesiac Secretary’s Secret Royal Baby. I lived in terror of being found out. I would leave the books with the really bad clinch covers at home because I knew if someone caught me reading them I’d be humiliated.

To be fair, romance novel covers were kind of awful then. Remember Man of My Dreams by Johanna Lindsey? What the fuck is he doing to her back? Is he penetrating her shoulder blade with his penis? The hell…

Man of My Dreams - Naked Fabio who appears to be thrusting into a woman's spine as she kneels in front of him

I would check out romances from the library, squishing them between books I had zero intention of reading, just to hide them. My face would turn red when the librarian checked me out because she obviously knew I was reading about sex. The horror!

Buying them was no less daunting. I was convinced the bookstore employees had a secret conference after I left, discussing my trashy taste in fiction.

If ebooks had been a thing then, I would have been able to read and buy and rent without this anxiety. I would have been free to indulge in ALL THE JOHANNA LINDSEYS RIGHT IN FRONT OF PEOPLE. It would have been glorious.

I also appreciate the convenience of ebooks, especially for travel. I read a lot on vacation, and on business trips, and I used to have to make choices like “Well, I can wear my panties for two days each if I wear them inside out on the second day, so that leaves room for more books.” Books are heavy. Airlines are assholes. A Boeing 747 can carry the fucking space shuttle, but my two hardcovers are pushing us over the weight limit?

Plus if you get stuck somewhere, you have unlimited books on your ereader. Unless you’re like me and you forget your Kindle while airline hell banishes you to Cleveland. Or Huntsville. Or you just circle Atlanta until everyone on board is likely to die from old age.

Last time I was stuck in the Cleveland airport for eight hours, I bought all three Fifty Shades of Grey books from the bookseller there and read them, my rage ratcheting up by the page. When I finally boarded my plane, the flight attendant asked me how I was and I replied, “Well, I’m not safe, sane or consensual, that’s for fucking sure.”

Okay, I probably said “Fine, thanks.” But I thought it.

So if ebooks are all the awesome, why do I like paper so much? Why do I still prefer it? Lots of reasons.

I love living in a house filled with books. I love the physical presence of books in my life. I love their smell and the way they keep me from having to decorate because they take up all my wall space anyway.

I love used books. Used bookstores are treasure troves for the weird and awesome. You can find the best Old Skool shit there. I mean, look at this:

Clarissa Ross' Moscow Mists - there is epic pornstache on the hero

What the ever-loving fuck is with that mustache? Is he gonna tie her to the railroad tracks?

Nutella and Go - nutella with sweet cracker breadsticks Plus I love it when you buy a used book and the person before you has left notes or receipts or grocery lists inside. It’s like a mystery, trying to figure out the previous owner. I like it less when you open a page and find a Mystery Stain and are all like “Please, Jesus, let that be Nutella.”

I like passing my books along too. I give them to friends and family members, and I donate them. I don’t really want to own my books. I just want to be a rest stop for them during the course of their lives. Sure, I keep the ones I really, really love, but I like the idea that a paperback can have a dozen different homes in its life.

Cover art has changed too (thank God), and I love the bright, colorful covers that are being shown now. I really adore the Giant Colorful Circus Tent Skirt trend that’s taken over historicals. I appreciated Fabio, but I’m glad he’s gone.

Most importantly though, I don’t give a shit if people know what I’m reading. I stopped being embarrassed a long time ago. I read my romances in restaurants, at work, while waiting at the doctor. Fuck you, if you want to judge me. Some dude is sitting next me with a confederate flag shirt. Give him the side-eye.

I like that when I read them in public I’ll have women, and sometimes men, ask me if the book is any good, if I’ve tried a certain author, if I can recommend something. I need a button that says “I read romances and erotica. Ask me how!”

So, what about you? How do you read? Are you a digital diva? Do paperbacks trip your trigger? Or is it a blend?


Random Musings

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Jan says:

    Ohh my gawd!!  How did I miss that cover?  Yes, that is the question – What is he doing to her back?  I have to say, I don’t ever remember seeing that book in any store or the library.  Too bad.  If only I had a copy of that while attending Catholic school. Rest that baby on top of my Catholic Primer. Nuns with apoplexy – a sight to behold.  They weren’t very happy with the James Bond book. 
    I too love books. Loved seeing them by my couch, by the bed.  Where ever I lived, I knew the contents of the closest library like the back of my hand.  I still remember the moment in first grade when I was looking at a book and the letters became words and I was reading. I still have that book and have been carrying it around for over 50 years.
    I also wonder what little bit of extras are attached to the book.  Pizza? Spaghetti? Chocolate? Are those cat hairs or dog hairs?  I can’t stand books smelling like cigarettes, although that has lessened over time.
    Ebooks vs paperbacks.  Since airlines have gifted us with unscheduled layovers free of charge with the price of a ticket, I bought a kindle.  On one trip of many last year, I took six paperbacks.  24 hours later, I finished them, and still hadn’t arrived at my destination.  I can soothe my soul and pass the time by reading books by my favorite authors.


  2. 2
    Mara says:

    I’m very distracted by Fabio’s body hair situation- why is he smooth from the waist up and hairy from the waist down? Did his waxist give up at his hip bones? Or are his flowing tresses just using up too much of the allotted hair quota per cover? I wouldn’t want his veiny hands anywhere near me…

  3. 3
    Kael says:

    OMG! I actually own Man of My Dreams, thanks to a former roommate who gives me romance novels. We had a howling good laugh when we saw that insert cover, and even just thinking about it make me laugh because it’s just . . .perfectly WTF?

    And I’m a blend. I love books, because I love the feel and just how they are, and there’s nothing that can beat the feeling of walking into a used bookstore. But I’m a huge e-book fan as well, especially since I can download fanfic and put it on my nook. I no longer am confined by a computer when it comes to finding out what will happen in the next chapter, this is especially useful when the authors in question writes legit epic chapters (like the one I just got which is 28k words!), it’s so much nicer to have that on a nice portable device instead of being chained to a computer screen for however long it would take me to read it.

  4. 4
    Tam B. says:

    I love books.  As I want my son to hopefully share this love (he’s 5) I buy him books and we go to the library.  But I’m an e-girl now. 

    A JD Robb new cover release across the series tipped the scales (I have 30+ books in the same cover style all covered and lovely and WAS NOT having this messed up – yes I’m somewhat anal about my book collections :) 

    I’ve kept my favourites (as in lots of books) and still can’t resist giant coffee table style books about exotic locales, so there’s never going to be a book shortage in our house.

    But I do love my kindle (and kobo).  I love the bargains that can be had.  I enjoy finding self published or indie authors that never would have made it to my local bookstore.  And I really love that my kindle can carry so many books and give me instant access to more.

    And can I request a “Where to start?/Favourites” list for “The Greek Tycoon’s Virgin Amnesiac Secretary’s Secret Royal Baby” style of book?  (Does it have it’s own special genre?)

  5. 5
    Francesca says:

    I love my iPad for all the reasons mentioned above, but I still love the feel and smell of an older paperback. Whenever my son comes into my girl-cave he takes a deep breath and says it smells like old books in there.

    The other thing I love is a beautifully bound hardcover with really good paper. These are harder to find than unicorns, but whenever I come across a book I like in that format, I will cheerfully pay whatever exorbitant price is being asked.

  6. 6
    Helen R-S says:

    I’m definitely a paperback kind of girl. I like books I can touch, and smell. Like you, I grew up in a reading household, and I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t able to read. My family often wouldn’t talk at meals, but not because of TV. It was because we’d all have our noses stuck in books :-)

    I can see the value of e-books for travelling, especially seeing I take my tablet (which I use for e-reading) with me anyway. Being able to take enough books for a 14+ hour plane ride (Australia to USA) without using my entire luggage limit on books is great. But almost all of my e-books are freebies, and I pretty much never read e-books unless I’m travelling.

    I like being able to lend books easily. I like being able to give away books I don’t want to keep – I usually donate them to the local charity op-shop, so they can resell them. You can’t do that with an e-book. I like buying second-hand books, and getting to try new-to-me authors cheaply, or finding that out-of-print book somewhere. And I also like knowing that my paper books aren’t going to become obsolete (unlike e-books if the e-book people decide to update their formats – and yes, I think that could happen. Look at VHS > DVD > BluRay).

  7. 7
    Peggy O'Kane says:

    I used to be all about the purity of paperbacks. As a teenager in the ‘70s I bought every new Harlequin at the local five and dime (Murphy’s) I still hang on to some of them. But as my eyes deteriorate I am eternally grateful for oversize trade paperbacks and e-books. Keeping my passion reading and not adding to eyestrain is the best reason for ebooks to exist.

  8. 8
    Patricia M. says:

    I love paperback books too.  I also grew up in a house with books everywhere and read constantly.  An e-book just does not have the same connection for me.  It is harder for me to read an e-book since I am not technologically savvy and find it hard to skip back to favorite parts to re-read.  Going to a used book store is a religious experience almost.
    However, I have hit that stage in life where I just have to de-clutter my life.  I have an entire room full of books in hand made bookshelves and I just have to let go of many of them.  I have started to buy my absolute favorites usually on Kindle (or accessible on Kindle) so that I have them available but not taking up space.  I also pick up self-published e-books like from Courtney Milan or try new authors. The tremendous advantage to me is that I am never without a book now.  If I happen to finish that paperback and I am on my lunch hour, I can pull out my phone and start reading another book. Book emergencies are now a thing of the past; no withdrawal from finishing a book and not having another with me since I always have my phone with me and always have books I can read.

  9. 9

    Digital all the way for me, for fiction. I have shelves of keepers from my paperback days, but they don’t last long. They didn’t make them to last.
    But I have to admit my appalling eyesight has a lot to do with it. Being able to change the print size and the brightness is a dream come true for me.
    And hygeine. I always wondered what those strange stains on the pages of secondhand books were!
    Paper books have built-in obsolesence, at least the cheaply produced paperbacks do. The glue gives out, the paper yellows and crumbles and they end up choking landfill sites.
    and I grew up in a reading household, too. Actually, because of the insulating value of books, my parents literally lined the walls with them. Bought huge bookcases at auctions and books by the case. It makes big rooms look cosier and insulates in winter. Books instead of central heating! I still read as many books, just in a different format. It’s the story that’s important for me, not the medium it comes in.

  10. 10
    Samanda says:

    I love “real” books too.  I spent a 40 year career as a librarian, half of that as a rare books librarian.  I’ll never own an incunabulum (a book printed before 1500), but I took care of some for many years.  My own oldest treasure is a cookbook written by “A Lady” and published in 1819.

    I belong to the Folio Society, which publishes great books in luxurious, gorgeous editions: hand made paper, leather bindings, specially commissioned illustrations.  I love beautiful coffee table books with marvelous illustrations.

    I also read a lot of fiction.  For years, my fiction competed with the non-fiction, devouring shelf space, forcing me to buy yet more shelves to house it all.  Every room in my house has bookshelves.  Cook books in the kitchen and dining room, my Folio and coffee table books in the living room, a hodge podge of books lining the walls of my office, shelves of fiction and comfort books in all the bedrooms.

    A year or so ago, I got to the point where I looked around and there’s literally no more space to put in new bookshelves.  I take bags of books to donate to the local public library and to the local literacy society, but I was still filling shelves faster than I could make space.

    My kindle’s been a life saver.  Now, most of my fiction comes in e-format and doesn’t take up physical space in my house or my luggage when I travel.  When I splurge on another beautiful book about 18th century embroidery or roses, I know I’ll have room to house it. 

    Like others, I’ve discovered authors I’d never have met if I were restricted to print.  Some have become must-buys, some get shoved off to the cloud where I never have to see them again.  I love that e-books are mostly fairly cheap so I can take a chance on an unknown author and not feel I’ve lost too much if the book turns out to be a DNF.  I sometimes miss being able to hurl a really bad paperback across the room, but the other advantages make up for that loss.

    I also love that I can make any book I’m reading a large print book.  I can read in bed with the print bumped up to the largest size and not have to bend the frames of my glasses.  I can sprawl on the sofa and read and there’s still room in my lap for the cat.

    E-books will never entirely replace real, physical books for me, but they’re a wonderfully welcome addition to my addictions.

  11. 11
    Erin Burns says:

    I love books and grew up in a house where books didn’t just fill all the bookshelves in all the rooms, they overflowed them into boxes that have slowly taken over the house, yes my family are book hoarders. But, it turns out I love the written word much more than I do books, so my Nook just magnifies that loves. I love that I no longer have to pay for an extra suitcase just for my books when I travel, I love that I no longer have to strain my back carting them around, I love that my husband and I no longer argue over the space that my books take up, and I can not possibly express my love for being able to make every book large type. The font size selection is a positively orgasmic feature as far as I am concerned.

  12. 12
    Hannah says:

    Despite my love of books for years I had no problem getting rid of dtbs. I’m slowly amassing a shelf of paperback or hc “keepers” of middle grade fiction and up that my kids might be interested in one day (especially YA/adult romance for my dd who is only 2! I seek out books with heroines who are artists because she loves to paint and draw). It’s crazy how many books I’ve given away and repurchased.

  13. 13
    PamG says:

    I don’t really want to own my books. I just want to be a rest stop for them during the course of their lives.

    I love this sentiment.  Actual paper books totally have lives.  I don’t really care about the medium I read in as long as I can read.  I know that, as my cataracts get worse, I’ll probably lean on e-readers more, but their huge downside is the inability to share my favorite novels as freely as I’d like.  I haunt used book stores, but there are some authors I just can’t find and often those are the ones I’d be most likely to pass on to a friend.  Used book stores are problematical, but if I share something new with another reader, I may turn that reader on to a new author, thereby generating income and fans, as do libraries.  E-only publications are a convenience for some, but make it difficult for readers with limited access to either the internet or disposable income to discover new-to-them authors and prolong the reading life of their work.

    Reading is like clapping so Tink will live.  If believers aren’t even aware, even the most awesome fairy/novel can disappear without a trace.  Print copies keep the applause rolling.

  14. 14
    Lostshadows says:

    I have Man of my Dreams somewhere. Thankfully, that picture wasn’t on the cover when I got it, and the actual cover hid that picture. I’m not sure I would have had the courage to buy it if it hadn’t.

    Overall, I still mainly read and love my paper books. Once the newness factor of my kindle wore off, I find myself using it far less. Partly this is Amazon’s fault. I keep waking up to find things I’d found very convenient have been “upgraded” away or just disappearing for a while. (Seriously, Amazon, leave the Daily Deals button on the storefront alone.)

    Then there’s the little things I didn’t think I’d miss. The big one is page numbers. Loc 4556 or 3 minutes left in chapter, just seem poor, and meaningless, substitutes. I also miss being able to easily flip a ahead and see how close I am to the end of a chapter. Or just visually charting my progress by how far my bookmark has moved ahead. Plus ebooks that I haven’t read are easier to forget about than a pile of physical books I see everyday.

    But I think the main reason is that, after almost 40 years of turning pages, poking at a screen just doesn’t feel the same.

    Of course, one of my main reasons for getting an ereader still holds, in that some books are just to big and clunky to read physical copies of for long periods and hard to cart around in day to day life. (Just bought the e-version of a 3lb, 662 page, but well loved behemoth. I look forward to rereading it without the wrist strain.)

  15. 15
    anngeewhiz says:

    Love this:

    I just want to be a rest stop for them during the course of their lives.

    I am still strictly a paper person. The first e-readers badly hurt my eyes, just like LCD screens. I’m thinking about taking the plunge, but I worry about that credit card bill and would miss the print smell, the dusty pages, and the feel in my hands.

  16. 16
    kkw says:

    I grew up surrounded by books. No TV. Weekly library trips, checked out to the limit. Any lunch money went to used book stores – in Boston, with all the college students, classics were cheaper than genre fiction, so I only read romance sporadically. I sold my books to help fund a cross country bike trip, and went into severe shock, because I had always read a book or more a day, and now I couldn’t carry any, particularly since we started off walking and my pack was already 3/4 of my body weight…there were a series of poorly thought out decisions, ok? Whenever possible I would sit in a small town library for a couple of hours to read a book. Those libraries would have been hard pressed to produce a classic I hadn’t read, but the romance sections were a revelation.

    Selling all those books that meant so much to me but were worth nothing, followed by the year of deprivation trigged some hording behavior. Then I went to live in Europe for a year and it was so hard to get books written in the one language I understand, and impossible to cart them around. The storage space auctioned off all the books I’d left with them.  Book hording commenced in earnest.

    But then I got a nook, and it’s just so…easy. Reassuring. The library books I get each week are no longer damaging my spine, and I can get more whenever I run out.  I am actually toying with the idea of getting rid of the real books, because the space, the moving, the small NYC apt… I’m living with them in storage, trying to see how I’d manage if there were No Actual Books. Perhaps it doesn’t have to be all or nothing, but I can’t handle the Sophie’s Choice. How do you tell a book it’s not a keeper? I feel panicky just thinking about it.

  17. 17

    I adore this post. It made me smile and laugh all the way through. I did not grow up in a house of readers and books. I started my own collection of books when I had my own money in high school. Thrift stores were fabulous for buying books. My house is now filled with books. Pretty much every room has books (except the bathroom). My kids live with what you had – someone always reading and I love that. They hold books and sniff them and love it.

    I’m split between digital and paper. I love my paper books and have a HUGE keeper shelf (it’s really a floor-to-ceiling case, but you know). But I also love the one-click inexpensive nature of ebooks. I don’t think I’ll ever go all digital, but the convenience can’t be beat.

  18. 18
    laj says:

    I love paperbacks, but I’m also very happy about the convenience of e-books. On Sunday I wanted to read something, but my TBR pile just wasn’t doing it for me. So I went to Amazon and found three inexpensive novellas by Thea Harrison that did the trick. The immediacy of e-books is astounding, which is why it is so popular, but I still buy and carry around paperbacks in my bag along with my e-reader.

    That Fabio cover is so repulsive……GAH!

  19. 19
    Karenmc says:

    I have shelves of TBR paperbacks and dozens of TBR ebooks. The paper books tend to get ignored because, frankly, if the print is too small or the font too thin, my old, computer-screen abused eyes don’t want the added strain. Sometimes I pick up an on-sale ebook of something already in the print pile, just to pamper my eyes.

  20. 20
    ReneeG says:

    I also grew up in a house full of books, and recreated that lovely cozy feeling in my own homes.  I remember the first time I stepped into the Tattered Cover after moving to Denver – heaven does exist and it has books, lots and lots and acres of books!

    At work, I have poetry books mixed in with my court rules.  I have my Kindle for travel and for the bus to work and find that I still get the “whacha reading?” questions every now and again, especially when someone wants to look at the Kindle.

    Most of my book dollars go to Kindle reads, but I keep up my hard- or paperback series and my favorite books, just in case the apocalypse arrives and electricity is rationed.

  21. 21

    Oh, I have soooo many things to say!

    First, can we be besties? Because once again you ROCK. And I’m much like you in regards to paperbacks, growing up with books everywhere, etc. :)

    Second, “Please, Jesus, let that be Nutella.” That is all.

    Third, the first cover is clearly a confused BJ. Perhaps they were both clueless virgins raised by nuns and monks on some distant planet? Or perhaps he just likes to dry hump random parts of her body. Her feet are next, oh joy!

    And finally, speaking of Fabio, I had an email from a publisher the other day for some cook book. I clicked to find out more because the title was “Fabio’s American Home Kitchen” Of course my romance reader mind went “Fabio has a cookbook? Oh dear what does THAT cover look like?” Sadly, upon clicking I learned that this was not THE Fabio. Pity. I would have loved to see Fabio in his glory on a cookbook cover, perhaps thrusting against some poor chicken or something.

    Alright, enough babble—- thanks for the wonderful post, Elyse!


  22. 22
    TheoLibrarian says:

    Years ago, when the Kindle was still pretty new, my parents decided they needed to buy e-readers. As a righteous lover of the book, I was horrified.  But what about the paper?? What are they doing to publishing?? Do they want to end life as we know it?? Then, I went to library school.  While completing my MSLS, I learned about the possibilities of e-reading for libraries and all readers. I bought a nook but it wasn’t until I had to stay with my husband in the hospital after his back surgery that I really appreciated it.  I could carry all of the stories I loved with me in one device! If I had to stay up late and ran out of reading material, I could just buy another! It was a revelation.  Now I own a nook, a kindle, and two kobos. I purchase pleasure reading materials and reference works I use for my job.  I also spend a lot of time with my students helping them understand how e-reading can benefit them academically.

    This doesn’t mean I don’t still read and collect books in print.  I have a loft in our home filled with a cozy chair and my shelves of comfort reads.  I understand how ownership is more difficult with e-books so when I love an ebook or a favorite author is releasing something new, I get a print copy.  Now, I spend my weekends cuddled up with my print collection and my work week carrying an e-reader around.  I like both formats and it works for me.

  23. 23

    Moscow Mists : Manuel from Fawlty Towers finds true love in Russia.

    I’m perhaps the only person I know who doesn’t have an e-reader. I grew up with physical books, and I like having them around me, filling the shelves wherever I look. Some are out of print, some have sentimental value because of who gave them to me or because I’ve had them for decades, some are autographed. There’s a comfort about them that e-books wouldn’t give me.

  24. 24
    Converseleigh says:

    Am I the only one to notice the obvious supremacy of paperbacks is that you can read them in the bathtub?  Maybe I am the only one who does that.

  25. 25
    Laurie M says:

    Awesome post. I love books actual as well. In fact, I would say at many times, when I was traveling, they were almost like security blankets because -oh my god what if I got BORED??????? I still take a couple or five with me, even though I’m all about my iPad and my reading apps.

    I love used bookstores too, and like any bookstore, I can get lost in them for hours. One thing I miss with browsing e-books is really being able to flip through a book, particularly if it’s non-fiction, (I’m a design book junkie) and fall completely in love with it, knowing I’ll come back to it again and again.

    Sadly, one of the reasons I read more on my iPad is due to the unfortunate change in my eyesight. Yes, sigh, I’m over 40, and even though everyone told me it would happen, I never owned it, but it happened anyway. I developed the whole far sighted, or near sighted thing, I don’t know which because the names confuse me and I get them backwards, and what it amounts to is not being able to hold books close to my face or focus on small print in low light. Sucks. My iPad lets me read in the dark with the words as big as I like. Makes my husband happier too. He put up with a lot of years of my reading light on at two in the morning.

    I’m proud to say, even though she does read on her iPad, my 16 year old daughter prefers printed books right now. She says,

    I don’t know why, but I just like having the book in my hand.

    Not that she doesn’t still have an iphone in her other hand.

    I will admit there are some titles I read on my iPad that there is no fucking way I would read in public. I’m kind of coming back to the romance genre after a long hiatus, although I don’t remember being embarrassed reading them in junior high and high school. Probably because everyone around me was usually reading whatever trashy book du jour was popular at the moment. I mean, in a way, it was the time of Flowers in the Attic, and Blue Lagoon, so what was there to be embarrassed about? We had to fill our spare time with something other than texting or Doodle Jump. I used to love it when I would finish an assignment early in class and get to pull out a book and read. At one point, I remember looking up in my English class and five other people were reading Lucky by Jackie Collins, and that was pretty darned trashy for the day. Not as silly as a Fabio cover, but you know, that was just the look those books had and I’m not sure we noticed how uber-silly they were until later. Glad the covers are better for the most part these days, lots of attention to color scheme and sleek design. Although not all covers have completely eschewed the impossibly hot, I-think-he-might-be-gay male stripper look, particularly Westerns. I’m not sure I would have been reading Rope Me, Tie Me, Ride Me Hard Big Stud, with a big ol’ almost naked cowboy on the front in English class.

  26. 26
    Bona says:

    I’m a blend. I read both digital and paperbacks, and massmarket and hardcover. I’ve no preference. I usually chose one thing or the other depending of the prize. But sometimes, if it’s an author I really love, I tend to buy paper.

  27. 27
    Elyse says:

    @Tam B, if you are serious about trying Presents, I recommend Maisey Yates, Annie West and Sarah Morgan for all the awesome

    @Samanda, yes! I LOVE the Folio Society. I bought my husband a gorgeous illustrated edition of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy for his birthday

    @TBQ we can totally be BFFs!

    @Conversleigh I totally use paperbacks for bathtub / sauna reading

    I usually don’t bring my Kindle on vacation because we try and do a beachy vacation once a year. I’m afraid it will get wet or stolen.

    We recently got my MIL a Nook and it was a lifesaver as her vision is getting worse. She loves that she can adjust the font and make any book large print

  28. 28
    Laurie M says:

    Sorry, didn’t mean to quote my daughter like she was from a book.

    Converseleigh, no you are not the only one to notice that. Can’t soak for hours with an iPad. Well.. I guess you COULD, but I know I would have disastrous results.

  29. 29
    LauraL says:

    Loved reading Elyse’s post and all the replies! My husband and I were English majors in college, so we liked to read together when we were dating and still do. He is pretty much an eBook guy now while I still read paper books along my ongoing love affair with Kendall, my Kindle. Being able to carry books with me anywhere on a little device still amazes me!

    There are some authors, like Julia Quinn and Eloisa James, I have to read on paper, but I love finding the new e-only authors, too. I still make a trip to the used bookstore about once a month to trade in books and search out old titles. What I have noticed is the “new release” selection at our book exchange gets smaller and smaller and that makes me sad.

    We still have books all over the house. I am slowly weeding them out and it is like sending away old friends.

  30. 30
    Erin Burns says:

    @Converseleigh an e-reader with physical buttons in a ziplock baggie is actually even better than a paperback in the tub. Or perhaps I am the only clumsy person who has lost paper books to the tub of doom ;)

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