Paperback vs. Hardcover

Book Chats, Pink in Ink

Similarly to my previous discussion of the pro’s and cons of eBooks vs. physical books, there’s another discussion that’s been around for decades; are paperbacks better or are hardcovers?

When I was growing up I almost exclusively read paperback novels and rarely got to buy a luxurious hardcover. I think one of the reasons why was because of how many titles I went through in such a short time so it was more economical, giving more money to buy many rather than a few. The other reason I mostly read paperbacks were because these are, to this day, much more readily available and easily mass-produced. Whereas any hardcover requires a lot more cost in publication and less in the was of profit. And they aren’t overly budget friendly for most of us.

Paperbacks, as I said are much easier and cheaper to mass-produce meaning that its then cheaper for the consumers. They’re easier to carry around in your pocket or bag and are far easier to hold. But they have less of a life-span, these days more than decades past. We live in an economy where the cheaper it is, the less robust they are and the more you spend the better the quality… sometimes.

So, why are hardbacks still available if they are more costly? If you’re like me and buy books in the hopes to not only practically live in a library but to also share with your future generations, a hardcover is far more likely to survive decades unscathed. But they do come with a higher price tag and are usually come as a collectable or special edition.

The way a paperback and hardback are bound is similar in that the pages are glued. But paperbacks are literally just that, glue and a softcover to protect those precious pages. Whereas a hardcover is made of a slightly tougher glue and the board gives it an extra layer of protection. If you’re looking for any of your favourite titles to last centuries and not just decades, a library binding is far superior. They not only are a hardcover with a strong adhesive but they are also sewn. Each text has a wedge of pages stacked, called signatures, that are then sewn to each signature, then glued together to add another layer. After that they are bound in a board-cover and secured in place by the end-pages. Cool right? The reason a library bound book is so much more durable and thought about is because of the amount of hands it exchanges, the amount of people that have turned its pages, dropped it, shoved it in their bag – you name it. So to make the overall costs lower on the libraries, they invest in a higher quality binding.

So really, the differences between a paperback or hardcover are slight. The lux of owning a hardcover still stands and feels more substantial. I personally prefer pre-ordering a hardcover, if they are available, in a special edition binding or of that nature because, even though they cost more to make, they are usually for a limited run so then there is a slight dip in the environmental impact. And most of the time, the books I buy I love or pass on to friends, family or my local library.

Much like the entirety of the publishing world, it’s all down to personal preference. If you buy a paperback copy to just indulge your need for literature or you splash-out on a hardcover so you have something to treasure for years to come, its all up to you. All that really matters is that you’re reading and that you’re enjoying it!

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The 12 Gifts for a Bookish Christmas

Book Chats, Pink in Ink

With the festive season fast-approaching, I know that I start to panic thinking I have no idea what to get my loved ones! It becomes even more difficult when those loved ones have very particular interests or just don’t tell you what they are interested in… we all have at least one.

The Danish and Norwegian have a word for the feeling of being cozy, which is hygge (pronounced hoo-ga). When I think about reading a book, I imagine sitting on a comfy sofa by a fireplace on a cold winter night with a hot drink, blankets, cozy lighting and fluffy socks. And I imagine that this image is the same for many other readers.

So, in an effort to try and ease the panic for you, and to try and keep yourself safe by gift-shopping online, I’ve compiled a list of ideas that are things any bibliophile would love while stuck in a good book. I’ve tried my best to give ideas for those with a small or big budget, stocking-fillers to ‘bigger’ gifts.


1. Books

If you are buying for or live with a book-lover, there might be at least one bookshelf. Use this to do a bit of detective work, note down some authors they have on their shelves and see if there’s any new releases. If you know your recipient has a GoodReads account, this can be your window to their mind! Or, simply ask them (inconspicuously) what books that are coming out or old releases that they are interested in. A lot of us book collectors love to receive special edition and collector edition copies of our favourite titles and the Christmas season is the time that these editions hit the shelves hardest, so have a browse online for the perfect one.


2. Bookmarks

There’s so many kinds of bookmarks and so many ways to personalise them, the only limitation is your imagination. Whether you want to buy one or make one, your bibliophile will love and treasure them.


3. Book Sleeves

For your book-lovers that are on-the-go and always carry a one with them; to protect their beloved literature, surprising them with one of these will be something they can carry with them all the time.


4. Bookish Clothes

From t-shirts and hoodies, to scarves and sock. There are so many to choose from and beautiful quotes can be one of the many staples. Redbubble has so many artists that design beautiful bookish quotes and adds more magic for that special person to enjoy over and over again.


5. Shower Speaker

This one may appear to be a bit out of the blue, but I love to listen to audiobooks whenever there are daily to-do’s that demand attention. And a shower is the most inconvenient time for readers… well, for me. For more than one reason. But having a water-resistant speaker would be amazing to sing your heart out or listen to your current reads


6. Bath Table

Photo credit – @darkfaerietales_

There’s so many uses for these, standing a book so it doesn’t get wet, propping-up your tablet to enjoy a movie or TV show, laying out those beauty elixir’s for a spot of papering and many more!


7. Journals and Notebooks

Bullet journaling is effectively a DIY diary or planner, giving the user complete creative freedom to add or remove trackers of various things, and is also just fun to do! But if you don’t think they would use a bullet journal system, there are ready-to-use reading journals out there.


8. Book Storage

Photo Credit – @myfriendsarefiction

If your recipient prefers practical gifts, getting them a new bookshelf , stand or basket would be perfect! (Just make sure they have the room first!)


9. Reading Light

If your loved one is, like me, a nocturnal reader, reading lights are perfect when they want to keep reading while their partner or sibling is sleeping soundly.


10. Blankets

Photo Credit – @DarlingJadore

I think I’m not the only person that thinks there is no such thing as ‘too many blankets’! I love curling up with a blanket any day of the year.


11. Book Subscriptions

Photo Credit – @illumicrate

Before I started to follow Bookstagram, I didn’t even know that book subscription boxes were a thing! I’ve been an Illumicrate subscriber for about 6 months now and, honestly is my favourite package to open. Most of the mainstream subscripton boxes are on a waitlist, but honestly, there are LOADS!


12. Tablet or Kindle

This gift is obviously aimed at those with a generous budget or just really want to surprise their loved ones. But since the beginning of 2020 we’ve all been very conscious of bacterial and viral infections and spending a lot of time at home. A tablet or Kindle is great because you can still enjoy reading on-the-go and be able to disinfect the device when you get home. I’m so grateful for mine!


Leave us a comment if there’s any bookish gift ideas I’ve missed any other gift ideas!

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October Book Prescriptions

Book Chats, Pink in Ink

As the first month of this new section, the name Books Prescription is not only the best way to explain a book-lovers need for literature, but is also a little nod to something very important to me, advocating for chronic illness.

Anyway!

There’s been so, so many new titles released this month that sound amazing! Some from well-established and beloved authors as well as some jaw-dropping debuts. It’s always so difficult to decide what to buy. It also reminds me that I will never be able to read all the books… But we can still try! This month I managed to get a few audiobooks with Audible credits I’ve been saving up, a few pre-orders come in the post and (because I have no self-control) a few older releases.

So without further delay, here are all the titles;

Physical Books


A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.          France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.          Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world. But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

This is a wildly anticipated release from one of the the most beloved authors in YA fiction. Shwab was a new discovery for me this year and, after reading The Dark Vault series and A Darker Shade of Magic series, she’s solidified herself as one of my absolute favourite writers. If you’ve seen, I have already read this and a full review is up now and you can see it by clicking below. All I will say here is I was blind-sided!


Lesson One of the Scholomance: Learning has never been this deadly.          A Deadly Education is set at Scholomance, a school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death (for real) — until one girl, El, begins to unlock its many secrets.         There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships, save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate… or die! The rules are deceptively simple: Don’t walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere.          El is uniquely prepared for the school’s dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students.

Another firm-favourite author for many but not having read any of Naomi Novik’s previous works, Uprooted and Spinning Silver, I’m excited to see what worlds this author builds. I am planning on reading the previous two releases at some stage but I’m far too excited to read this one, they’ll have to stay on the TBR pile!


A murder on the high seas. A detective duo. A demon who may or may not exist.          It’s 1634 and Samuel Pipps, the world’s greatest detective, is being transported to Amsterdam to be executed for a crime he may, or may not, have committed. Travelling with him is his loyal bodyguard, Aren’t Hayes, who is determined to prove his friend innocent.          But no sooner are they out to sea than devilry begins to blight the voyage. A twice-dead leper stalks the decks. Strange symbols appear on the sails. Livestock is slaughtered.           And then three passengers are marked for death, including Samuel.          Could a demon be responsible for their misfortunes?          With Pipps imprisoned, only Aren’t can solve a mystery that connects every passenger on board. A mystery that stretches back into their past and now threatens to sink the ship, killing everybody on board.

I shamefully pre-ordered this with no idea that Stuart Turton also wrote The Seven (and 1/2) Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle! Just from the synopsis, I was drawn in and now I know that he also wrote The Seven Deaths, I’m really excited to see what twists and turns this one has in store! If the last release is anything to go by, it’s going to be a suspenseful rollercoaster with some mind-blowing revelations.


“He’s gone…”          When his daughter Samantha calls in the dead of night, John Rebus knows it’s not good news. Her husband has been missing for two days.          Rebus fears the worst – and knows from his lifetime in the police that his daughter will be the prime suspect.          He wasn’t the best father – the job always came first – but now his daughter needs him more than ever.  But is he going as a father or a detective?          As he leaves at dawn to drive to the windswept coast – and a small town with big secrets – he wonders whether this might be the first time in his life where the truth is the one thing he doesn’t want to find…

I haven’t read any previous works by Ian Rankin. This title is a part of a character series ‘Inspector Rebus’ so I’m hoping that this will be understood without reading the previous titles. I’m a huge fan of crime-thrillers and this one seemed to tick all the boxes for me. All will be revealed when I get to reading this one.


It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.         It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.          But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

I recently read the latest release by Rory Power (Burn Our Bodies Down) and it was enjoyable so I’m anticipating this to also be quite the story! I’ve heard that it is rather weird and the general consensus is either you love it or hate it. I like the weird and wonderful in my books and it shows an authors amazing creativity.


The Wayward Children Series

After reading Every Heart a Doorway and fallin in love with the world and the authors writing I decided to purchase the rest of the series that’s released. I’m expecting to enjoy these as much as the first novella and I’m excited to read of the other characters we met in the first instalment. I’m hoping I haven’t set the bar too high for these but we’ll just have to wait and see… or read.


Imagine an America very similar to our own. It’s got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream.          There are some differences. This America’s been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day.          Elatsoe lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered, in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect facade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family.

I’ve heard a little about this and the idea behind this story is something that could be amazing. I love learning about indigenous culture and its history and the addition of ghosts and magic seems so fun with a twist of murder-mystery. It’s right up my alley and I can’t wait to read this one.

Cerys is safe in the kingdom of Aloriya. Here there are no droughts, disease, or famine, and peace is everlasting. It has been this way for hundreds of years, since the first king made a bargain with the Lady who ruled the forest that borders the kingdom. But as Aloriya prospered, the woods grew dark, cursed, and forbidden. Cerys knows this all too well: when she was young, she barely escaped as the woods killed her friends and her mother. Now Cerys carries a small bit of the curse—the magic—in her blood, a reminder of the day she lost everything. The most danger she faces now, as a gardener’s daughter, is the annoying fox who stalks the royal gardens and won’t leave her alone. As a new queen is crowned, however, things long hidden in the woods descend on the kingdom itself. Cerys is forced on the run, her only companions the small fox from the garden, a strange and powerful bear, and the magic in her veins. It’s up to her to find the legendary Lady of the Wilds and beg for a way to save her home. But the road is darker and more dangerous than she knows, and as secrets from the past are uncovered amid the teeth and roots of the forest, it’s going to take everything she has just to survive.

The classic fairy tale trope returns! Though this is something that’s been done over and over again, I am interested in what twists this has to offer and the writing style this author has. Also, can we just appreciate the beauty of the cover?!

Audiobooks


I’ve shamefully had the physical books for these on my TBR pile for almost a year! So to get round to actually reading them I downloaded the audiobooks. S. J. Maas is a phenomenal writer and her latest adult-fantasy fiction, Crescent City- House of Earth and Blood, blew me away and, from what I’ve seen thus far in the first two – these are no exception! The full reviews for these will be going up over the course of November so keep an eye out for those.

Can you fall in love for the first time twice? A recently widowed woman is about to find out when she wakes up and finds herself eighteen again in this “compelling” story of second chances (Mail On Sunday).          Kate’s husband Luke – the man she loved from the moment she met him twenty-eight years ago – died suddenly. Since then she has pushed away her friends, lost her job and everything is starting to fall apart.          One day, she wakes up in the wrong room and in the wrong body. She is eighteen again but remembers everything. This is her college room in 1992. This is the first day of Freshers’ Week. And this was the day she first met Luke.          But he is not the man that she lost: he’s still a boy – the annoying nineteen-year-old English student she first met. Kate knows how he died and that he’s already ill. If they can fall in love again she might just be able to save him. She’s going to try to do everything exactly the same…

This british comedian/actor was one I never expected to see on the shelves, and I’m really excited for this one! The premise of this sounds so bitter-sweet with, what I’m oddly hoping for are some tear-jerking moments. I wanted to get the physical book but, because of budget, I picked it up on Audible with my saved-up credits. Watch this space!

Abbie awakens in a daze with no memory of who she is or how she landed in this unsettling condition. The man by her side claims to be her husband. He’s a titan of the tech world, the founder of one of Silicon Valley’s most innovative start-ups. He tells Abbie that she is a gifted artist, an avid surfer, a loving mother to their young son, and the perfect wife. He says she had a terrible accident five years ago and that, through a huge technological breakthrough, she has been brought back from the abyss.          She is a miracle of science.          But as Abbie pieces together memories of her marriage, she begins questioning her husband’s motives–and his version of events. Can she trust him when he says he wants them to be together forever? And what really happened to Abbie half a decade ago?          Beware the man who calls you . . .

This reminds me of the movie ‘Before I Go To Sleep’ and that was a pretty good movie so I’m intrigued to see if this is similar beyond the synopsis or if this turns out to be an entirely different twist. I’m going into this with an open mind.


A grand total of 15 items on this months prescription! I won’t be able to get around to reading all of these over the month of November (obviously! I definitely can’t read that quickly!) and, like it is for everyone, may not love it! Have you read any of these yet? Leave a comment if you have down below, or if you would like to have your review for any books you’ve read as our VIP Guest, don’t forget to fill out our submission form!

eBooks vs. Physical Books

Book Chats, Pink in Ink

We all know that since the dawn of Kindle there’s been heated discussions between readers if eBooks or physical books are ‘better’. But both have their own merit.

Since I was a kid, I’ve had nothing but paper and ink for my reading and some of my favourite memories were of going to my local library, browsing the rows of books in all shapes and sizes with the promise of new worlds. Anyone who is of the physical-book divide will agree when I say that there is a very distinct, comforting smell and feel of holding a book, of turning the pages as you get pulled further and further in to the authors vast imagination. The comfort of holding a book, allowing you to be weighed down while your mind is flying far above our reality. A physical book feels like a little bit of ever-lasting history that is your charge to protect, hoping to share your favourite tales with future generations.

But the downside to a physical book is the amount of paper is used and the printing ink, especially when we are so determined to slow deforestation and global warming. Especially when our global population is so high, thus having a need for mass-publishing in all the different languages, all needing to be shipped in cardboard boxes to bookstores and then distributed to our front doors.

But then the first Kindle was created. With all classic and modern books of all the languages made available at a fraction of the price, thus beginning the debate. Though I am and always will be a lover of a physical book, since the beginning of 2020 (and the reminder of humans mortality,) I have been using my Kindle for reading whenever I am not home, so I can disinfect it without worrying of ruining my precious literature that I’m yet to finish and so, whenever I have a spare moment, I can still indulge in my imagination and forget the environment I’m in, since my only outings are to hospital appointments. Another plus for eBooks is that there’s no paper and no ink, which means a more eco-friendly indulgence. And it saves the problem of weight-allowance when we travel!

But, much like the physical books, an eBook has a negative. That negative being the need to charge your device which requires electricity. Since we are still not using entirely renewable energy sources, it would be naïve to assume that eBooks are ‘better’ for the world. We also have to remember the amount of chemicals that are released into our atmosphere by simply constructing a Kindle, tablet or smartphone and what happens when they break or have the latest model. There’s also the reminder of precious metals that are mined to simply make the small parts of these devices which requires more industrialisation and more pollutants.

So, in conclusion, there really is no ‘better source’ for reading. Both eBooks and physical books have their own pro’s and con’s, so this discussion will continue until the end of time because, there will always be those who want to spend the money to hold a book with pages and ink and to display it, pride of place, on their bookshelves.

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