The Paperback Stigma

For those of you who don’t know, I work in a library. We have all genres of books carefully filed, but, hidden against the back wall of our fiction section, are the shelves of paperbacks. When I’m looking for something to read, I always migrate back there. I have always been and will always be a lover of classic paperbacks (especially the ones with those covers).

Just the other day, a man came to me saying that he knew we had a particular mystery novel, but he couldn’t find it on the shelves. I looked it up and, sure enough, it was categorized as PB., Paperback. When I told the patron where he could find his book, he looked at me with disbelief.

“Back there?” he asked with his eyebrows halfway up his forehead. “You’re sure?”

He’s not the only one. At least once a week, I hear something like this. But, here’s the thing: There are a lot of books that come out as mass-marketed paperback! They’re not all trashy romance novels! (Not to dis on trashy romance novels at all, mind you!)

I just don’t understand why paperback books are synonymous with something to be ashamed of. I hope my book comes out as a paperback, complete with Shirtless Hunk and Swooning Lady. Those are the books that inspire me, that made me want to become an author in the first place.

This is only my two cents, but I really hope we can reach a point where paperbacks are just as accepted as other books, not looked down upon by readers! In the meantime, I will continue collecting my paperbacks and displaying them proudly!

GREG RAKOZY PATRICK TOMASSO

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