There is a lot to be said about paperback books.

Far too often their covers are a picture of the bad movie adaption, their backs break, the corners bend. They get worn fast and don’t look as good on the shelves as their hardcover brethren. But this is part of their journey. The thing about paperbacks, you see, their entire point, is that they’re small enough to bring ANYWHERE. These are the books you’ll read on the bus, on the train, on the plane trip across half the earth. These are the books you’ll read under the desk at school, by the pool, while waiting in a queue, in half-sleep delirium three o’clock in the morning. You can put it in your bag, in your kangaroo sweater pocket, or just carry it around giving it a constant hug of protection.

When you begin reading a brand new paperback, you are terrified of what will happen to it. You caress the shining cover picture, stroke its back like a monster book of monsters, shuffle through the unread pages and take in the smell. Maybe you won’t read it yet, when it’s still shiny and perfect… but you do. And after a few pages of careful non-breaking of the back, you get so immerged in the story you forget. You forget you are holding a book while you look for your favourite character in a crowd of letters, or while you try not to drown along with the protagonist. And you’ll bring this book everywhere, and every time you summon the precious square of realitywarping goodness, chances are it will get a dent on the way. And every day the book changes. And then you read the last page, close the book, and put it away, eyeing its cracks of imperfection. The next book in the series is still new, shiny and glorious.

And you open your new friend, taking it with you on your next journey.

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