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July 31, 2017


Laura DiSilverio

I have buckets of MM books, but I also give them away like mad, mostly to the Friends of the Library. I also pass them along to friends. We just don't have physical space for all of them. Our basement has already been colonized by books of all types--hardcover (mostly), trade PB, and MM. I buy more books for my Kindle now than I buy in MM, though.

Hank Phillippi

Agreed! Because it is just so difficult to decide what goes.
And if they are signed, forget about it!

Hank Phillippi

Coincidentally, I read two minutes ago that MMPB and ebook sales are down--and hardcovers up!


If I am on the fence about trying a new author, getting a mass market book is an easier sell because the price is cheaper. But I will read any size book, really, especially for my favorite authors.

Ann E Mason

I have given away all the mass market paperbacks and most of the trades. However my dearest Hank, you know I would never give away one of yours, because it would be most likely inscribed. Books like that have a home forever.

I must admit I rarely to never actually buy a print book, but my Kindle now contains almost 2000 titles and grows by at least a hundred books a year. That counts, right? xox


My MMPBs go so many different directions. I loan/give some to friends. I trade via PaperBackSwap.com & also trade with a group I meet with every month or so. I've donated to the Friends of the Library both here at work and at the public library. Some I ship to relatives who are starving for books and can't even afford the drive to the library. I still save a precious few. I do remember selling some years ago at a garage sale. The mysteries flew off first. Then a photographer for the local newspaper came by. The caption on the photo talked about how I was selling romance books. Well, yeah, but I had more than that to begin with, including children's books.
It's funny that I read so much on my Kindle and yet I still have a closet full of paperbacks!

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Oh, so interesting, Mark! That's a great idea..but then sometimes you have to wait a year, right?

Hank Phillippi Ryan

AAWww...thank you, Ann! And 200 titles? You BET it counts!

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Jody! What a fun adventure that turned out to be! And yes, they seem to multiply, right?

Jim Collins

What a great picture of the two readers! I still have a LOT of MMPBs, because over the years I have bought a lot of them used, just to try out something new. They are great for carrying around to doctors' offices and other places where I might have a wait. Like others, I have donated many to our public library; back when we had more used-book stores, I used to trade them in for ones I hadn't read yet. In answer to your other question, this is one commenter who would love to win a MMPB copy of one of your books.


As I get older, I have decided that I need to stop keeping all these books. Esp since I have been doing this blog reviewing for five years now. You can't imagine the number of ARCs that arrive each day. Well, I'm sure you can, but you know what I mean.

At this point, I have decided that I will only keep books I love and signed hardcovers. But how do I know that the opportunity to get a book signed won't arise in the future? And what about books that don't come out in Hardback?

When I get an e-copy of something in my collection - on sale typically - I will try to remember to donate the physical copy.

And I will keep some ARCs because they are special covers, unique designs, or somehow different from the final version.

Management of all of this is a full-time job all its won.


If they are distressed, I give them to a friend who is a paper artist. She uses them for projects, such as paper holiday wreaths and ornaments. She has given me a lesson on making book wreaths, so I am working on one for my sister. (Nobody tell her.)

Otherwise, if in good shape, they go to the cancer center for their infusion and waiting rooms.

Nancy Jo Clark

I buy hardback books for certain authors. Your books, for instance. I can think of 7-8 authors that I buy their hardback. I listen to a lot of books. There was a series I was reading, but I was going to be driving a distance so I decided to get the latest one to listen to. Unfortunately the voice of the reader was nowhere near the voice I had in my head for the characters. I learned my lesson.

I bought Ken Follet's trilogy books in hardcover as they came out; however, the books are so big that it hurt my hands to hold one. I bought them to read on my tablet for ease.

The print in hardcover books seems to be darker and a little bit larger. That's a good thing, too.

I got rid of some books when I moved from VA to SC. I'm sorry I got rid of some of them. Have repurchased a few of them. Think carefully before you get rid of some.

Sorry this got so long.

Susan Emerson

I have stacks and stacks of MM paperbacks, but I rarely buy them any more. I really read a lot, so I try to make my library my number one source of material. And after that comes Kindle books, which are even more portable than a MM paperback. I will occasionally splurge on a hardcover book if it is a new release by one of my very favorite authors. But I'm just not feeling the MM paperback love any more. Also, my aging eyes are less and less happy to read the smaller print in them, too.

Charlene capodice

I buy them and keep them also trade with my sisters and girlfriends. Would love to have another one!

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Yes, Jim waiting rooms are the perfect MMPB spot! And if the book is not your cup of tea, you can casually leave it behind--someone may love it.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Kristopher, you had me at "as I get older..." :-)

And whoa, I would love to see all those arcs! Lucky you!

(Until you have to do something with them, of course. But people love to win them, right?) And sometimes I keep the arc and give the final book away. Is that silly?

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Ramona, you are so clever! I am going to look up book wreaths. And then think about how I should make one, but won't. xoxo

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Nancy Jo, you missed them so much you repurchased them??? What a wonderful compliment to the author! xoxo

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Yes, Susan, the print can be so small! Very annoying. And I am increasingly impatient with poorly cut covers--when they are uneven or not straight? Hate that. It just seems..disrespectful.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Charlene, you are a good pal! xoo

Celia Fowler

I really like mass market paperbacks and am always drawn to them in bookstores -- they are my book of choice after ebooks. So far, all the ones I have are keepers or ones that I would loan to friends

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Oh, Celia, that is fascinating! So there is still hope! Hurray.

Celia Fowler

Also, I think that's a great idea of Ramona's to send them to chemo infusion rooms. I know after about an hour of chemo, my eyesight would start to blur a bit, so those larger books would be great. I wish they had had books where I had my chemo (just magazines), but now I know what to do my MM paperbacks if I ever pare down!

Roger Johns

Letting go of a book is tough for me. When I do let go, I tend to give them to friends who I think would enjoy them, or donate them to our local library. None of this happens very quickly, and it never happens to my autographed copies - those I keep forever and shelve in a special place. I read earlier today that if you own 1000 books you're considered a book hoarder. Guilty as charged. Shouldn't this considered a good thing?


I never let go of books and have tons of mass market paperback and hard cover books. I love them all - and I just can't part with them. One day I hope to have time to put shelves all around a room to build a library for myself!

Gloria Reinhart

I do several things with my paperbacks. I donate them to the library, I put them in one of the mini-libraries situated throughout our town, or I mail them to my sister-in-law who circulates throughout the family. We have mini-libraries that are about the size of a birdhouse and you can drop off or pick-up a book to read. I also donate them to the V.A.

Pat Dupuy

I never turn down a free paperback! I will go through and purge on occasion to make more room. The books either get donated to Friends of the Library or get sold for a pittance. I hang onto favorites forever. As for size I like trade paperbacks the best. And I never never get rid of an autographed book. Never!

Susan Neace

I relocated in January and agonized over which books to keep/move. The new place finally felt like home when' books were in shelves on the wall. I regularly buy mass market paperbacks. Some on my shelves are very old and fragile now. I found many of my favorite authors in mm publication. Please enter me in your giveaway

David Squires

I rarely part with books. However, it is getting to the point that this plethora of books is eating me out of house and home. My favorite books to "read" in this current age, are audio books. Better still, e-books with the attached audio track. Then, hardcover books are my preference, as I am a little rough on books which I am reading and hardcovers stand-up much better. We live in an age of too many books, as if that were possible.

Jana Leah

When I read print books, I prefer mass market. They're not as heavy as hardbacks & I'm less worried about spilling food/drink on mass market paperbacks.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Oh, dear, Roger. I think I will not count mine. It's so much nicer to think of them as a wonderful collection than to think of them as hoarded...!

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Julie--that would be lovely! And remember, the books expand to fill the amount of shelving available!

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Gloria--I love those little sidewalk libraries! So you actually use them? Or just donate?

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Oh, yes, I agree Pat--an autographed book is very special. Do they have to be autographed to YOU? Or just autographed?

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Exactly, Susan, nothing makes you feel more comfortable than seeing your books in place!

Hank Phillippi Ryan

SO question for you, David--do you keep those audiobooks?

Kathy Reel

Oh, Hank. This problem is one I have, too, and I am so relieved that I'm not the only one. I no longer read mass market paperbacks and haven't for some time. Let me correct that, I don't often read a mass market paperback, but there are some books that only come that way that I give in and read, as I still prefer the printed book. But, I have so many of these books accumulated, and I need to do something with them. You have given me a good place to start in weeding my books, to gather the mass market paperbacks in some boxes and make some hard decisions. I know that there are places that will be glad to receive them. Operation Paperback for active military serving overseas is one such option. But, I first need to take that step of pulling them off the shelves and from baskets. Thanks for the push, Hank.


Hank, my bookshelves are like yours - three deep with mass paperbacks. They type is small and squished on the page, but some aren't in print so I have to keep them. We've gotten used to trade paper and it's a great hybrid - cheaper and more portable than hard covers (and somewhat smaller on those bookshelves). I prefer buying trade paper because they're generally handsome. But if I were lucky enough to be headed to a sandy beach, prepared to smear myself with sunscreen, I'd take a mass paperback so the stains and sand in the binding wouldn't ruin a better looking book. Is that an overly long answer? It's something I think about!


I prefer the trade paperback size and paper quality although I have my share of mass market paperbacks. When I am finished with paperbacks, my friends in the book club at The Book Carnival in Orange Ca box them up and send them to service members overseas so they can read them. Mass market paperbacks are the perfect size for them to to carry.

Karen in Ohio

A woman I know who lives in London, and who is a voracious reader, has paperbacks four deep in her tiny city flat, because she can bear to part with them. I suspect all that insulation makes her place very quiet. And warm.

If you get rid of books, how can you tell which you've yet to read in a series?

At this point, with so many author friends, my stack of signed books is getting out of hand. Everyone should have such a problem!

Karen in Ohio

Can't bear to part with them.

But you knew that.

Sherry Harris

I have so many. But I give some of them to the library or share them with friends.

Grace Topping

Drop some of them at the local nursing home or retirement homes. Lots of residents are on fixed incomes and would really welcome your books.

Jacqueline Robertson

Some I give to the public library, but others I cannot part with-- I might read again or read for the first time....

Joan Lang

Many go to nursing homes etc, if they're not autographed, though the font is often too small.
Hank, you have my original "Charlie" ones, so I know you won't trash those.

sandy gardner (sandra on fb)

hi Hank
i don't discriminate between mass market and trade paperbacks (or hardcovers). If it's a book I want to read, I get it. especially if it's by a favorite author.
sandy gardner
ps I'd love a giveaway book!

hank Phillippi Ryan

Okay, Kathy Reel--you can do it! I'll be you find some treasures!

hank Phillippi Ryan

Susan, yes, the sunscreen dilemma! ANd for all of us who care about books, that's definitely a consideration. And of course you think about it!

hank Phillippi Ryan

Katie, I am so fond of the BOok Carnival! And what a sweet idea to send them to troops. I love that thought...xoo

hank Phillippi Ryan

Karen in OHio--yes, that is a great problem.. ANd I am trying to imagine that London apartment.. whoa. DO we think that's a good thing?? xoox

Deb Romano

Do I buy mass market paperbacks? Yes, indeed I do! Do I keep them? Absolutely; I wouldn't buy a book I didn't intend to keep!

(Would I like a free one? Oh, yes!)

Many of the books I own are signed--mass market, trade, hard cover. When I recommend the authors of those books to people, I do NOT lend them mine. I buy a copy for them. Due to various conditions (pinched nerves, arthritis, carpal tunnel issues, etc) it's often painful to hold books in my hands. If I see a hard cover book I want and it's too big for me to hold comfortably I'll get the Kindle version. But if the author of the hard cover is someone whose books I love enough that I want a signed copy(Hank!) I'll get the hard cover book and find ways to hold it!

My paperback books are arranged every which way in my bookcases, and the ones that don't fit in the bookcases are all over the place: end tables, inside and on top of the coffee table and probably other places as well. Watch where you sit!


hank Phillippi Ryan

Sherry--but when does the sharing become like zucchini?

xoxoo And cannot wait to read your new book!

hank Phillippi Ryan

Yes, Jacqueline! Exactly! You never know what you might really need..

hank Phillippi Ryan

Joan, so wonderful! Cannot wait to see you so I can give them back--hoping you are well!

hank Phillippi Ryan

DebRo--you and me, sister!


Man I love my mass markets! Probably my collection is 30% hardback, 40% mass, and (because of all the college texts) 30% trade. Mass is handy and portable and not heavy for packing (I mean we all need at least 2 books a day on a trip and hard backs add up!), and they are a great gateway drug to new authors and new readers. The format I actually hate is trade paper. It's perfect for college nonfiction, but I'd like it banned for leisure reading. It
Just puts off the release of the mass market and takes up too much precious shelf space.

hank Phillippi Ryan

Ruth, that is such a great perspective! Mass markets are the perfect size! ANd they are so much fun to buy..Once, at Mysterious Galaxy I saw someone buy ten! She was SO happy!

Nora-Adrienne Deret

Hank, sometimes your local library will accept them and put them into circulation. I just dropped off 2 boxes of books from a cozy author. They were remainders some of them new but 20 years old. My branch in Queens is putting ALL of them back into circulation and will send some to the other Queens County branches. If that interests you contact me on FB and I'll give you the librarian's name and address to send them to.

hank Phillippi Ryan

And the winners are! Jim Collins,, Nancy Jo Clark and Susan Nance!
Let me know which Hank book you want! Just message me on Facebook--or email at h ryan at whdh dot com
Thank you all for a wonderful day..with many fabulous ideas! So thrilled to be part of this community!


hank Phillippi Ryan

Nora--thank you! Maybe..I should look for someplace local? what do you think? xxoxoo

Yvonne Moncovich

I was a collector of books and authors. I had multiple book shelves and moved them from one side of the country to another. As I got older my hands couldn't hold books without going numb. I started reading eBooks and felt like a traitor. I missed turning pages, feeling the thickness of the page between my fingers, the anticipation of peeling up a corner and not peeking until I finished the last word. But I've grown used the the ebook and now have hundreds of books at my fingertips. I'm never without a book and the volume of my reading increased exponentially. I keep setting annual goals and blasting them out of the atmosphere in 4 or 5 months. I still have treasured copies of favorites more for sentimental reasons than anything. And periodically I read them just because I can.

Carol B

I love and yes, still buy, mass market paperbacks. If I think there is any possibility that I will reread one (or a whole series) that I love, I will keep it/them. But in reality I seldom do reread. Those that I don't think are likely to be read again (even though I may really love them) go one of a couple of different ways: some I send to one of several specific friends whom I think will enjoy them as much as I do; donate them to the library for their annual book sale (or to add to their circulating collections); if I happen to finish a book while I am "out and about" and know I'm not going to keep it, I like to leave it lurking where I am (not always, but where it seems appropriate enough to do so) in hopes that someone will find it and be curious enough to read and enjoy it themselves!
I love the mass market size for so many reasons: portability; ease in holding and adjusting to different position; lower price (especially if I accidentally leave one behind somewhere when I'm not finished with it and have to replace it, but also because I can buy MORE for less!); and the way they fit in my bookshelves better than trade size or hardcover.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Carol--I SO agree about leaving books...what a treat to find! (Do you leave a little note saying "I meant to leave it?" :-) )

Hank Phillippi Ryan

And the winners are! Jim Collins, Nancy Jo Clark and Susan Nance!
Let me know which Hank book you want! Just message me on Facebook--or email at h ryan at whdh dot com
Thank you all for a wonderful day..with many fabulous ideas! So thrilled to be part of this community!


Lisa Rice Wheeler

I love to read. Any version of a book, but I prefer to hold a book rather than a reader or iPad or similar device. I usually buy hardbacks, but I'll buy--or borrow--whatever I can get my hands on. The hard part is letting go of them. Signed books stay. Period. Favorites (Jane Austen, Hank's books, childhood favorites) stay. If you figure out how to sort and release books, I need to know. Every room has at least one bookshelf, even the half bath.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Oh, dear, Lisa..I am afraid i am going to be NO help at all! xooo Agree about your choices, though!

Ann Mettert

I love MMB! They're just the right size. I read so much SLOWER on kindle or my phone. I thought it was just the phone so I got a kindle. Nope.
Anyway. I read hardbacks and Trade PBs from the library. They are harder to hang on to and carry around.
But basically, I just read books. Any kind. Anywhere.

Jack Getze

One of my greatest pleasures is taking a week's vacation to read three or four paperbacks on the beach.

Meredith Sweet

I love mass markets! I think my biggest collection of them is (unsurprisingly) romance, but mysteries come a close second. Everything you said about them is true: I don't mind as much if they get spine wear, or wrinkled pages from reading in the tub. I try not to leave them anywhere, but if I do, I know someone will find a good read. I always keep an eye out for them at airports and grocery stores; often I find an author I admire had contributed to a mass market anthology or a book I didn't know was out is in mass market form.

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