A paperback is truly my favorite format of book. I mean it–give me a paperback over a hardback or e-book any day of the week! There’s just something about that bendable spine that gets to me. BUT I have come to realize that, in fact, trade paperbacks are my favorite format.
There is a stigma against mass-market paperbacks, an idea that only smutty romance novels (which I like!) are printed in mmpbs. I never gave it much thought and frankly found it to be silly, this stigma, until recently while on a flight I felt a bit judged for my mass-market book. Genre fiction tends to be printed in mass-market formats and I know genre fiction tends to be considered a ‘less’ or formulaic or not super intellectual, so perhaps I was just being sensitive.
Thoughts? How does format effect the way you perceive a book? Have you ever read a book in one format and loved it, and again in another but really disliked it?
I don’t know what it is about YA fiction lately, but it seems every leading lady is in a predicament I was never (and I do mean NOT ONCE) in as a teenager: a love triangle. I’ve been reading more YA fiction recently, as I have boatloads of galleys to read, so maybe this isn’t a new trend so much as one I’m just coming to notice due to the volume of YA books I’ve read.
YA is a category that I tend to make broader generalizations or stereotypes about, so I’m trying to give it a chance and increase my breadth of knowledge, but if these dang love triangles don’t come to an end I just don’t know what I’ll do.
“What kind of book is that?” Is a question I often get at the small public library where I work after giving a book suggestion to a patron. Genres are hard, I think. For example, I was telling someone about Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, and they asked what genre it was. I said…drumroll please…”fiction?” Because truthfully, I don’t know! I can tell you what it’s about, I can tell you what I would suggest for subject headings, but as for a genre…I’m not sure. Genres are limiting. Genres are often confused with format. Genres are hard.
Crossovers between traditional genre writers and the way we organize books by genre can limit/inhibit a patron from picking a book they might like just because it doesn’t fall under the category of the type of book they usually like.
Also, what do we do with graphic novels? Are they a genre or a format? If they’re a format why are they all generally shoved in nonfiction when they can be either fiction or nonfiction?
LGBTQ is another ‘genre’ that people often ask about; what qualifies as lgbtq? Is it an LGBTQ author or LGBTQ characters, or both? It’s not a format, but it’s not a genre either–not all LGBTQ characters are detectives or vampires–they cross over in to all types of genres.