- Hardcover? Or paperback?
- Illustrations? Or just text?
- First editions? Or you don’t care?
- Signed by the author? Or not?
This is funny because I just had this conversation with my students and librarian yesterday. We were in the library picking out books for the students’ free reading choice. One of my students had picked up a paperback copy of The Picture of Dorian Gray and when she went to check it out, the librarian told her to hold on. She came back with a beautifully illustrated hardcover copy. The student said she had seen that one, but didn’t want a book with pictures, it “made her feel like a baby” to read anything with pictures in it. Me, on the other hand, have fawned over that version of the book several times.
I also judge books by their cover, I must admit. I will not buy a book that has the movie image on the cover, nor do I like a book that is stamped with “Oprah’s Book Club Selection” or any kind of book club selection, for that matter. I have been known to purchase several different versions of my favorite books, such as The Catcher in the Rye or Their Eyes Were Watching God.
I do prefer hardcover, they look so much nicer on a bookshelf, but my budget does not always allow to purchase hardcover. When my grandfather died, I inherited his collection of books, several of which are first editions. These are my pride and joys.