Why I Love Hard Cover Books

Barbara Vey -- April 5th, 2013

Doubleday

Years ago (ok, I was probably in my 20s), I belonged to the Doubleday Book Club.  Every couple of months I could get the book they picked out for me, an alternate pick or choose something of my own.  They were all hard cover books.

I was working a full time job (at Master Lock) and a part time job (at Walgreens).  I had my own apartment, a 1968 New Yorker and a refrigerator that always had a bottle of wine in it (Annie Green Springs).

I joined the club by filling out a post card in a magazine that offered 5 books for 99 cents and 2 additional books for a discounted rate, so of course, I did that.  When the books came, I felt like I was living the life of a rich person.  I bought a bookcase that took up a large portion of my studio apartment and went to work filling it.  The excitement of receiving those books every other month never diminished.  It was often the highlight of my day.  Many times I read the book the same day or the next and then would want to share it with friends.

When I’d have guests over, I’d just have to show off my latest addition to the collection.  We were all such cerebral young adults, even though many of my books were just plain fun, I did manage to have a few “serious” books.

Annie Green Springs

Hard cover books in my youth meant a certain social standing.  But more than that, they were mine.  I could read them over and over again.  I would take the dust jackets off while I read them so I wouldn’t ruin it.

Where ever I moved, the hard cover books came with me.  There were a lot of memories attached to them that didn’t necessarily have anything to do with the stories.  I’d remember who I shared them with, the discussions we had about them and the authors who wrote them.  I’d think about where I lived and what was going on in my life when I got them.

Now it doesn’t really matter to me what format I read a book in, but I’m not sure a lot of memories are getting attached to them.  I think I miss that part the most.

Bottom Line:  “The paperback is very interesting but I find it will never replace the hardcover book – it makes a very poor doorstop.” ~ Alfred Hitchcock

9 thoughts on “Why I Love Hard Cover Books

  1. Ellie Miller

    I know just what you mean about the memories attached to hard cover books. I treasure my 1943 copy of “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”…the first HB book I ever bought with my own money…because I remember how long it took my 8-year-old self (25 cents a week allowance) to save up that $2.49 which allowed me to bring it home TO KEEP! I have signed books that I love and cherish with such fond memories of the smiles on their authors’ faces and those memorable albeit brief conversations with them which accompanied that signing.

  2. Barbara

    You sound like me. I am originally from New York and belonged to the Doubleday Book Club. I would have my membership for a few years and then I would re-up again at 99 cents with one extra book at a reduced rate. For years, I never paid for a Danielle Steel book – I always had at least one in my freebies. I would fulfill my commitment with Mary Higgins Clark, John Grisham, Jude Devereaux, Kathleen Woodiweiss, Judith McNaught and countless others. The best part was they were all uniformly sized. Now I buy whatever is cheaper – paperback or e-book, except for those I still share like Debbie Macomber, Janet Evanovich and, yes, still Mary Higgins Clark and Jude Devereaux. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  3. Ashley

    I never belonged to the Doubleday Book Club but I can understand your love for hardcover books. I feel the same way. I feel so much more connected to a book when I can hold the hardcover in my hands. I love feeling the hardcover and then then the soft paper pages inside. I love the look of hardcover books on my shelf, it’s a decor and style that paperback and e-books (obviously) cannot duplicate.

    Ashley
    Closed the Cover

  4. Susan Carlisle

    I loved the ‘All Things Great and Small’ series by James Harriott so much when I was in college that I bought all the books in hardback. Still have them and I plan to read them to my grandchildren. Hardbacks do last and do make great door stops.

  5. Jerol Anderson

    I not only belonged to The Double Day Book Club, my mother belonged to one like it. She ordered us books through the mail when I was a teen, Pocahontas, Davy Crockett, Amelia Earhart and more. We alternated months, my brother got the books about men and I got the ones about women. My children dug them out of our bookshelves and now my grandchildren enjoy them. My husband goes to the used book sales and comes out with bags full. And when I do book signings he goes along and ends up spending more in the bookstore than I could ever make in sales. We have hardcover books two deep on our walls of shelves. Moved in boxes nearly a dozen times over my adult years, a new home always feels like mine when the books are up and out.

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