July 30th is National Paperback Book Day, so put down your e-books and hardcover books and find one of your favorite paperbacks to celebrate!
Sir Allen Lane
Before the 1930s, paperback books were rare and mostly poor quality. It wasn’t until Sir Allen Lane made efforts to popularize the paperback book that books became easily accessible to those who wanted to read. He founded Penguin books in 1935 and began the paperback revolution. Before this point, if someone wanted to read “good literature,” they had to purchase a higher-quality hardcover book. These were often too costly for most people to buy. As a result of his efforts and the start of Penguin books, paperbacks became extremely popular. They provided a new, affordable way to read. Also called “pocket books,” millions were sold in their first years of production and continue to be mass produced today.
Mass-market paperbacks vs. trade paperbacks
Mass-produced paperback books make literature available to readers around the world. There are two types of paperbacks in print: mass-market paperbacks and trade paperbacks. Mass-market paperbacks, with their inexpensive printing and binding, are often printed several months after their hardcover counterparts are debuted to provide readers with a more affordable version of these books. Trade paperbacks are a higher-quality paperback version of hardcover books. Also released several months after the hardcover copy, trade paperbacks often use the same text pages and paper quality as hardcovers to make them.
Ultimately, when celebrating paperbacks, it is hard not to compare them with hardcovers. When choosing between the two, there are several reasons to go with a paperback over a hardcover book. Paperbacks are, as already mentioned, cheaper than hardcovers and smaller and lighter as well. This makes paperbacks better for travel as they are easier to slip into your purse, backpack, or suitcase. Their size makes them easier to bring along for your daily commute to work or for a long day of running errands where you might have chances to read while you wait. When thinking about moving, paperbacks can definitely save you some back pain as you relocate your personal library to your new home as well.
This July 30th, find a copy of your favorite paperback and enjoy the flexible and portable copy of your book. With a paperback, reading doesn’t just have to be stationary – you can bring reading on the go with you too!