Rather than comment on the comments about hardbacks, I’ll follow up on Adele’s and Peter’s thoughts.

Adele first – I suppose Alex Rider fans are so desperate that they will buy the hardback, and Anthony gets richer still. (Saw his house in a house magazine a while back, and very nice it is too.) From a green point of view I feel paperbacks are better, and they allow for more books on my shelves, because they are smaller.

However, when School Friend’s Daughter E came to live with us one autumn some years ago, she was shocked that so many of the new books here were paperback only. E thought it looked cheap and not very proper, and that was coming from a 19-year-old, whom I’d expect to want to live simply and cheaply.

The story of me and Artemis Fowl – No, Peter, Artemis came as hardback first. I’d kept seeing the ads for Artemis long before the book arrived and thought to myself I’d never buy anything that sounded that stupid. And certainly not in hardback, as I am (was) an economical sort of person. But Christmas came; the witch was standing in a bookshop, and before she knew what was happening, Artemis in hardback came home for Christmas.

And the next Christmas it was more a case of Artemis having turned into a Christmas tradition, and the hardback looked rather nice, after all. After the first Artemis I wasn’t even sure I liked him (which apparently is exactly the reaction Eoin had hoped for) so I can’t account for my reasoning here. And here we are with a very nicely matching shelf, full of hardback Eoin Colfer books. I’ve probably paid for his house conversion, or whatever he’s been up to, too.

I think Picador’s idea of paperbacks is excellent. The only books that need to be hardback are those were the book would collapse if not firm. Cleopatra’s jewels, for instance.


3 responses to “Hardbacks?

  1. I’ve read that Colfer intended that Artemis Fowl might not be immediately likeable. I wonder if he was thinking a book or two ahead right from the start. He may have had the idea of making young Artemis a kind of hard, heartless character at first so he could show a bit of the other side later. He shows such a side in the second and third books, and for characters other than Artemis as well. Book Four is on the way, so I may have more to report on this matter in the next few weeks.

    Yes, one probably would not want something as hefty as a Riverside Shakespeare in paperback.

    Detectives Beyond Borders
    “Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home”

  2. I believe that what happened was that Eoin became a father. He had intended to kill off the senior Fowls to give Artemis more room, but then he realised that it wasnt’t very nice to orphan children… And if you haven’t read no 5 yet, I’ll say no more.

  3. I have just borrowed No. 5 from the library today, so you need not maintain your silence much longer.

    I am reading the series out of order; No. 4 is on the way, which means I’ll have read 1, 3, 2, 5 and 4, with 6 presumably to follow. Even in the first book, Colfer touches on a family issue in a way that seems at least distantly related to those young-adult books that bravely confront tough problems. From the descriptions I read, such books seem to veer close to books-as-therapy, a concept about which I have doubts.

    Colfer never seems to go that far, bless his heart. He includes just enough about Artemis’ family to remind the reader that the protagonist is, in fact, a young boy.

    Detectives Beyond Borders
    “Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home”

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