Tuesday, March 07, 2006

paperback writer

(Ok, you knew that title was coming sometime. But this post is not about writing.)

Yesterday, I was out and about with a bag full of books, computer, pens and sticky tabs. I also got a letter from a friend that I jammed into my coat pocket. It stuck out just a little bit-- a creamy touch of mystery bubbling from my front pocket. My books however just dug into my shoulder, causing a poopface and a hunchy walk.

If I had been reading something old or trashy, I could have lost the poopface and just had a junky pocket full of books. Sexy, no? At night, if I want to read a newish book, I have to heft the giants an inch and a half from my face because of my bad, bad eyes and lack of glasses. Trade paperbacks aren't much better than hardbacks, they are just a little smaller, with flimsier pages. (Plus, I hate the markety-marketing of trades, but that is another post). Ugh. My biceps aren't up for that shit at 2 in the morning.

I want a world where the paperback shoots out of the pub pipeline sooner, and the form is not used only for bestsellers, classics, and romance novels. Unstigmatized size. Occasionally I find some Euro versions of nice-selling and nice-reading books and I buy them right away. They tend to have unembarrasing cover art, they are unchanged by American editors, and the size! The size!

The size is so perfect for toting. For subwaying. For training and bussing. For stacking. That's what I want in a book as object. The hardback is hefty and beautiful, but the paperback is light, tight and mobile.

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