Sunday Salon: Size Does Matter…?


Size Does Matter … or does it? Do you only buy paperbacks or hardcover? Consider the number of pages before reading a book? Have the same size grouped together in your bookshelf?

I have a mix of hardbacks and paperbacks on my bookshelf: the hardbacks are my “permanent collection” and are there for keeps. I rarely, if ever, lend these out. Paperbacks are there to be read once and most are passed on when I’m done. There are a few paperbacks that are kept in the permanent collection; these are books such as the Persephone Greys, which are of such delicious presentation (down to having their own individual bookmarks) that they dont get leant out once you get your hands on one!

I buy hardbacks if I know I’ll be wanting to keep it. There are only a small number of authors that I will still fork out the money to get a hardback, and have them taking up the space. Otherwise I will wait for the paperback to come out and get that. It actually helps me save money in the long run, because by the time it comes out in paperback, I’ve forgotten the initial urge to buy it, and know that if I was meant to read it, it would come across my path some other way (usually through Bookcrossing).

I don’t generally worry about the size when buying a book, but can be when I am reading it – sometimes I need or want to read a short book because I’m not in the mood for a longer, more challenging book. Sometimes I need one that will fit the handbag when commuting.

The larger books (e.g. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and the larger Ken Follett books) are becoming more prevalent now as I’m rotating the smaller books off. I will read them when I have time to concentrate on them, and when I don’t have to keep them in my handbag in order to get a few minutes on the train.

As for shelf stacking – the books have previously been  ordered in size of height rather than colour, alphabetically or in thickness etc. This is because I find it more visually appealing to have it tidy. It also allows me to stack more books into what is, essentially, a smallish shelf space. Currently they are grouped in themes (author etc) regardless of height, but I dont know how long that will last!

So what about you – how are you with book size?

5 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: Size Does Matter…?

  1. I prefer paperbacks – because I can get more of them on the shelf – though I’ve discovered them some I’ve owned a long time have started to fall apart! I do have some fancier, mainly older hardbacks which I keep separately, almost ‘on display’ as they are so lovely to look at.
    As far the page-count per novel – it doesn’t really bother me, although I like to know how long a book is before I start it and I’ve been caught out with this a couple of times on the KIndle.


  2. Size matters less than density for me. I rotate between difficult reads –often literary fiction where I may have to reread sections and fly-through books like great mysteries. I don’t really care about how long the book is — just how much concentration I need to get through it.


  3. I do love the sturdy feel of a hardback book… but prefer the portability (and affordability) of the paperback.

    I am starting to read chunksters on my Kindle, especially when traveling.


    • hardbacks are satisfying arent they? Am grateful sometimes for the ebooks, not only for size, but ability to have the classics as and when I’m ready


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