All other things (like price and storage space) being equal, given a choice in a perfect world, would you rather have paperbacks in your library? Or hardcovers? And why?Even though I readily admit that hardcovers look better (and last longer) than paperbacks-- not to mention that a good hardcover will stay open at the right page without being held the whole time (very useful for when you're reading while brushing your hair, applying lotion, etc.-- I think I generally enjoy reading more when I'm reading from a paperback.
It's strange. . . I like the idea of hardcovers, but when I paint a mental picture of the perfect reading experience, I see myself holding a slightly worn paperback. I think it's probably because I grew up reading paperbacks, mostly. My very favorite books (not counting children's picture books)-- the ones that helped shape who I am and are still favorites-- were paperbacks. When I hold and read those same books, now, they feel "right". The texture of the paper's the same-- the rustle of the pages is an echo of my past-- the smell is comfortingly familiar-- the very font helps roll away the years and take me back to the magical first reading. . .
So I'd definitely keep all my own paperbacks, in this fantasy-world library-- but I might make all my new books hardcovers.