Drowned Wednesday

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 18 15:16:12 EST 2005

--- Elizabeth Bentley
<elizabeth at wardrobe-on-the-web.com> wrote:

> On 17/2/05 10:19 pm, "Judith Ridge"
> <Judith.Ridge at det.nsw.edu.au> wrote:
> > 
> > The size of our market just doesn't allow for the
> expense of hardcovers and
> > there is also a great resistance from (Australian)
> kids to them. Jon, is
> > this your experience? It was certainly mine when I
> was teaching and then
> > working in school libraries and
> bookshops--hardback books carried some
> > stigma that I was never quite able to figure out.
> Maybe that's changed.
> > 
> I can remember Peter Dickinson saying that one child
> asked him when the
> 'easy' version of one of his books was coming out,
> and it turned out he
> meant the paperback.  So there can be a perception
> that hardbacks are
> actually harder.
> Certainly I would say there was a resistance to
> reading hardbacks at my
> school, duplicated elsewhere, to the extent that it
> actually quite difficult
> for school librarians as opposed to public
> librarians to be aware of recent
> fiction, when it comes to making recommendations for
> the Carnegie.
> EB

Students have a definite preference for paperbacks.
Partly because they somehow think, as Peter Dickinson
discovered, that they are "easier" or shorter. I
notice this when I put out a range of books on the
same theme for a class. Students looking for an easy
book will choose a 150 page paperback over a 100 page
hardcover. The good readers who know better also
prefer paperbacks because they tend to borrow half a
dozen at a time and they're easier to carry. The only
hardcovers worth getting are authors were kids are
eager for the next book - such as Harry Potter. In
Australia most YA books are published only in


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