Dave asks about hardbacks vs paper

Dave of Dave’s Fiction Warehouse asks a perennial question about hardback vs paperback books. "I have fairly strict criteria for buying hardbound volumes: If the book is a gift, if it is a work I expect to frequently reread, if it is a reference book, or if it is something I just can’t wait to get my hands on. (Also, if it is offered at steep discount from Sam’s Club or Costco, but I can be flexible on that point.)". Dave has just sent his brother the hardback of Ian Rankin’s latest for a birthday present. He does not reveal whether he read it first ;-). Nor shall I reveal whether I would have done under similar circumstances ;-).

So when do you buy a hardback rather than wait for the paperback?  There are some authors I just can’t wait to read: I used to buy Elizabeth George in hardback when her books went through a phase of covering an issue that was particularly relevant to me. At the moment, though, I’m unlikely to read her at all, paper or hard. I buy J K Rowling in hardback the instant her latest is out (naturally). Other authors I buy in hardback include Ian McEwan, Mary Higgins Clark and Nicci French. I don’t buy hardbacks for gifts, though — I prefer paperbacks to read because you can easily fit two into your bag (I always carry two books, "an heir and a spare", to misquote). So I give paperbacks as presents — unfortunately this means my recipients would have to wait as long as I am having to, to read the last (?) Rebus novel.

Typepad updates

Typepad is continuing its programme of providing its happy bloggers with more upgrades: Everything TypePad: Feature Updates: Comments, TrackBacks, sharing, URLs and statistics. I presume these upgrades are driven by the competition of the many free blogging platforms that are available, not just Blogger and WordPress, but blogs on many social websites at Facebook, MySpace, Ning, Nature Network et al..  But the winner is the user, and I like the additional features Typepad is offering its bloggers.

Typepad offers many custom widgets, its latest being a Twitter widget, which "displays your latest tweets on your TypePad blog, and makes it easy for your readers to follow you on Twitter. It even auto-magically formats itself to match your blog’s theme!" I’m a very occasional twitterer myself (I go there only when I want to check up on Debra, Ian and Susan!), and know that too many widgets make the blog slow to download (or do I mean upload? I am never quite sure), but this widget will be great for those [Typepad users] who are into it.