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Sometimes the NY Times pisses me off...

So, I was looking to see if the NY Times had updated their bestseller list yet (which they haven't) and I cam across a link to an article that was to explain to people the difference between the Trade Paperback and the Mass Market Paperback.

Apparently, Mass Markets should still only be sold on racks in supermarkets as impulse buys, and Trades deserve all the display space on proper shelves in real bookstores. And if you're seen in public reading, well, the Times leaves no doubt which type you'd best be holding with this little tidbit:

A trade paperback, in short, is the book you’d want to be reading if you were sitting at Les Deux Magots and Simone de Beauvoir was looking straight at you.

Considering she's been dead for more than two decades I'd be rather more interested in discovering whether or not she was a zombie than whether or not the printed version of the book I'm reading is up to snuff. I'm not sure what the punishment would be otherwise but it must involve some inner circle social ridicule, whereby I am to be ostracized for life, and banned from Paris, respectively.

Which is fine by me actually.

Anyway, here's the article.

NY Times, Paperback Row (in which they explain the difference between the Trade and Mass Market Paperback)

At least they do get around to simply pointing out that a Trade Paperback is larger than the Mass Market Paperback. Though, from reading the article the artsy black and white cover of the Trade is supposed to appeal to those who prefer literature and the shiny color cover of the Mass Market is there to trick the genre reading masses into reading real literature. No matter the origins of each style that this article in today's day and age is still looking down its nose at a Mass Market copy of the same exact book is utterly infantile.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 16th, 2008 02:20 pm (UTC)
Snob appeal. What a crock. (But that's from a person who had lived fifty-five years before she found out what a knock-off was)

I like like trade editions simply because the print is so frequently more commodious.
Dec. 16th, 2008 02:40 pm (UTC)
I usually buy mass market because it fits easier into my backpack. I did actually buy a few trade paperbacks this year:

  • Mad Kestrel by Misty Massey

  • The First Law series by Joe Abercrombie

  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

  • Shattered Dance by Caitlin Brennan (to complete the trilogy in that format)

Usually my Trade purchases are related to omnibus editions or science fiction reprints such as Samuel R. Delany who is apparently accepted as literature. It's interesting how he has gone from being published in Mass Market to being reprinted in Trade these days.

Edited at 2008-12-17 02:29 pm (UTC)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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