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.