Life of paperbacks versus hardback

matthias_lang

We've begun a collection of books, focusing on Newbery medalist & honor books so as to have a defined limit, for a grandchild who is yet to be born. Um, you all can understand that, right?


I'm wondering if we should hold out for hardback editions when possible. Do hardbacks tend to be made with paper that will age a little more slowly than paperbacks?

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annpanagain

I would go for hardbacks. I have a number of old books and the paperback pages tend to go yellow and fall apart. If the hardbacks have jackets, cover them with a proper plastic as used in libraries to preserve them.

I started a book collection for my daughter when she had her first birthday so you beat me!

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vee_new

Yes, go for hardbacks every time. And they will be worth much more if the dust jackets are kept intact.

I have often noticed that US books are made of far superior quality to books published in the UK. Too often our books begin to 'yellow' within a year or so and the paper feels cheap and scratchy.

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yoyobon_gw

Hardcovers with jackets .

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woodnymph2_gw

I agree with yoyo -- hardbacks with covers. Some may increase in value over time. Perhaps I should not ask, but did you post a long time ago on this forum under the name of "Russ"?

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matthias_lang

Okay, hardbacks. There are some I've obtained as paperback, only to later come across a hardback edition, so I think I'll go ahead and re-buy in those cases. I'm trying to be frugal, but don't want to buy books that will not be there when the child is old enough to read them.

By the way, I'm finding that children's used book prices are better now than when my when we were buying for our own child, and not just when you take inflation into account. In some cases the absolute dollar amount is smaller now. Also, I think the books are generally in better condition because, sadly, so many of them printed in the last two decades show up in charity shops and book stores looking as though no one has read them.

vee_new, that's interesting. One of the worst things I've come across in used paperbacks is that the glue in the spine sometimes seems to have shrunken, creating ripples through the pages and giving the feeling that the book will fall apart when you open it and tun pages. That is not most paperbacks, though.

woodnymph, no, I don't think I've ever posted on this forum before, but have looked in on it once in a while for many (20?) years. I mostly have been involved with the gardening side.

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carolyn_ky

Astrokath, maybe you know. What do you call paperback books that are of higher quality?

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Rosefolly

You can also purchase clear plastic covers for the dust jackets to preserve them, the same kind libraries use. The company I use is a library supply company called Brodart. Another similar company is called Demco. I think they may be the same company I used to know as Denison, but I am not sure about that.

I put the dust jacket covers on all my hardbacks. But then I am a little obsessive about books. ;-)

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donnamira

Carolyn, I think they are called ‘trade paperbacks’ vs ‘mass market paperbacks.’

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astrokath

Carolyn, in Australia the trade paperback is the larger size, usually the same size as the hardback. We call the smaller ones you know as mass market B format. I don't think the quality is any different.

Further, although a hardback will generally last longer, paper quality is variable across all kinds of books in my experience, and is one of the things that makes some books seem heavy for their size.

Hardbacks in adult fiction are not as common here as in the US. The first time I went into a US book shop I was shocked to see so much fiction in hardback. Here it is used for certain books likely to sell well (The Testament by Atwood, the forthcoming The Mirror and the Light by Mantel) and for some specific authors (Wilbur Smith, Di Morrissey). Non-fiction is more likely to be published in hardback too.

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aziline

Rosefolly - I'm looking to cover my books too. Do you use the Adjustable Slip-Covers? http://www.shopbrodart.com/Library-Supplies/Book-Care-and-Repair-Supplies/Book-Covers/Removable-Covers/_/Brodart-Adjustable-Slip-Covers-Reseller3/


Our local library uses Durafold by Demco but the ones on Brodart look much easier to use.

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carolyn_ky

Yes, Donnamira, it was trade paperbacks that I was thinking of, or rather couldn't think of. I have seen some that had much better quality paper that the mass produced ones. I have some really old (50s, 60s) paperbacks that would probably crumble if not handled carefully. One of them is Lamb in His Bosom which I reread recently and managed not to destroy.

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aziline

Rosefolly - ah. Thanks!!

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matthias_lang

I'm back to add that I have decided to purchase some buffered, non-acidic paper to wrap some of the books in small groups, and to place just inside the covers of at least certain paperbacks. I'm seeing that some paperback covers yellow on the inside much faster than the actual pages, even at the edges of the pages.

I had already been looking at such paper at Demco, mentioned above, but a photographer suggests I look into lightimpressionsdirect.com.


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