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Trading up to Hardcovers – Which do you do?

Are you like me in that you might buy a book more than once? I’ve bought books on Kindle that I later wanted to own a physical copy of, and so I did. I also have certain books that I happen to have the soft cover version and am slowly exchanging them for the hardcover, primarily first edition versions.

If so, what makes you do so? Here are some of the reasons for me, and I’d love to hear yours.

Kindle to Physical

Usually this happens when a book’s been recommended to me and it was on sale, so I got it. After falling in love with it, I wanted to loan it out and couldn’t. I’ve actually bought physical copies so I can loan them.

The other times it’s happened is when, back in my early Kindle days, I didn’t realize I don’t like research or writing craft books on my Kindle. I just can’t seem to ingest them as well as the physical version. Now I always buy the hard copy of writing and research books. Something about the tactile nature helps me learn. I also can’t have two places open at once and mark it up with arrows, stars and drawings that help me understand the concept better.

Softcover to Hardcover

These are for the authors I really love and I discovered partway or after their hardcovers were first published. Slowly I’m replacing my softcovers for the hardcover and preferably first edition. I’ve almost got all of Ann Rice’s paranormal fiction in first edition, hardcover, and am working on Frank Herbert’s Dune series, Phillip K. Dick, and Christopher Moore.

I know I’m not alone in this as I work in an independent bookstore and we’ve been noticing a trend–some folks are coming after having read a book on their eReader and wanting to get the hardcover version (not the softcover), so we’ve been making sure to stock hardcover commercial fiction and noticing it sells better than their mass market paperback versions (which I think is what the eReaders are replacing).

This is why I don’t think physical books will go the way of the Dodo. They might be reduced in print runs, but I think they’ll always be around because too many people like the physicality of owning one, and running their hands over them, and smelling them, and just giving a big sigh when they gaze at their bookshelves.

What do you think? Which softcover or ebooks are you exchanging for hardcover?


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