Being a bit of a technophobe, I can't manage to subscribe to Booking Through Thursday, and so I don't know without actually going to the homepage whether a new question has been posted -- so here I am thinking that there hasn't been a question since December or thereabouts, and there have been five. So I inadvertently answered one yesterday, and here is the most recent one.
All other things (like weight, cost, and so on) being equal, what’s your favorite format for a book? Hardcover? Paperback? Old? New? First edition? Digital? Audio?
I see the appeal of each of these, to be sure. For reasons of space, I am amassing a stash of classics on my Kindle (Austen, Dickens, Trollope, etc., as well as more modern things like the Cadfael and Miss Read series as they appear), and I really love some of my audio books (the Wendy Hiller version of All Passion Spent I mentioned yesterday, for one, the Irene Sutcliffe Pride and Prejudice for another).
First editions? not really, the exception being that I am slowly collecting D.E. Stevensons, many of which are first UK editions because for the most part those are more complete and more authentic -- for some reason, her US publishers regularly lopped off whole chapters, and of course (why??) Americanized spelling and certain words us Yanks would doubtless be completely mystified by, such as "neighbour" and "lorry". (Grrr.) But for the most part, what is inside the book matters to me more than the imprint.
There is much beauty to be found in an old book, either the sort of universally-acknowledged beauty of morocco and gilt or simply that velvety softness that the edges of the pages get in books of a certain age. And new books certainly have their beauties, either in some really well-done design or simply in the thought that a new world awaits just inside.
But I find that this question is really difficult to answer! All kinds of books have their unique appeal, and for both practical and aesthetic reasons -- but I suppose if I had my druthers, I would choose hardcover more often than not, though I suppose that the appeal is as much emotional as it is intellectual! I like the heft of them, the substantiality, the sense of permanence.