Bigger Books in Our Smaller World

Hooray for me! I’ve published my first novel Luna: Book One of The Luna Chronicle and it’s a beautiful book. Not just because it’s mine, or it is a dream come true, but because it’s a pretty book. It’s a well-designed, well-crafted paperback, made with quality paper.  Any book junkie will tell you it feels nice in the hands, and isn’t something I would personally want to dog-ear, or hold with suntan-oiled fingers.

Yet, as I hold my new book  I wonder: Why is it that POD books are bigger than the standard hand-sized paperback?
I have my theory, and here it is:
I believe it has everything to do with e-book formatting and cost. What the PDF is of the book is what the POD folks print. It makes printing easy and cost effective for them.  

 So, why–in our age of shrinking devices–would the paperback book want to get bigger? I had always thought the idea of a paperback was for it to be portable, a take anywhere, smudge it with grease while you eat your potato chips as you flip through the pages kind of object. (Try smearing melted chocolate on your e-book and see what you get!) They’re cheap and disposable, and can fit in your purse.  Certainly, purses have grown larger. Now a woman can store just about everything she wants or needs in her purse, and her pocket-dog can be a Labrador Retriever instead of a Yorkshire Terrier.

But enough about fashion–the book industry is in the throes of a revolution.
Alas, technology will win, and every reading human on the planet will have a Kindle.

Which begs the questions: are POD’s emulating the Kindle in shape and white glove treatment? Or is the larger, finer book simply the result of e-book demand? A chicken and the egg argument if ever there was one.
But why don’t we have all three: the quality POD, the hand-sized, disposable paperback, and the e-reader? I’m an eat-my-cake-and-have-it-too kind of gal, so I’m always conjuring solutions in order to have my way.                                                                

Does anyone know why the book industry hasn’t simply formatted the PDF pages according to the dimensions of the hand-sized paperback, when it would seem those are cheaper to produce, and let the Kindle readers stretch the pages to whatever size they’re comfortable with?

Am I outraged in support for the losing side of this literary war? You bet. Change is uncomfortable, at best, and I like the feel of a book, even if it’s a palm sized, cheap paperback. Always will (here I hold up a BBQ laced finger)! Until I cave to the pressures of a new century and grow accustomed to that e-reader, whereby I exclaim: “I can’t believe I used to like books with pages!”
Meanwhile, I’ll pet my new novel with its glossy pages.  ~S.C. Dane


2 responses to “Bigger Books in Our Smaller World

  1. Maybe it’s just the books I read, but I’ve found that books in general have moved towards the larger size.

    Ironically, it is less cost effective to publish the smaller pocketbook size (at least through!) vs the larger size!

  2. There is still something about holding a book and turning the pages. Luna is work of art!!

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