In this post, Norm comments on an article by Michael Skapinker in the Weekend FT on the relative merits of hardbacks and paperbacks. A letter in today's FT from Martin Woodhead adds another dimension to the discussion. The key, says Woodhead, is in the binding rather than the cover:
[Hardbacks] create the impression of strength and longevity but there are many cost-conscious publishers who bind the pages paperback-style (perfect bound) and then slap on a set of nice hard covers to create a good-looking book more cheaply, but which fall apart just as quickly, and probably faster than a paperback because of the added encouragement to fold it flat...[I]n my view nothing can beat sewn binding for real strength, whether hardback or paperback, but it comes at a cost...
So the real test is to check the spine of a book and see how the pages are held together. Evidence of threads is a good sign, but take no notice of fancy headbands as they are glued in for decorative purposes only. But why not buy a Kindle and avoid all these risks?
Abington, Cambridge CB21 6AH
I'm assuming the Kindle comment is tongue-in-cheek.