Publishers, agents and booksellers all report that more customers are switching to paperbacks as household budgets tighten, and predict a shift towards the cheaper format.

A hardback's not for everyone. In my case, it's only if I really can't wait for the 12 months it might take for a book to come to paperback, that I give in and invest in a hardback. I adore reading a hardback though, it just feels so special and I find myself stroking it a lot more than a paperback!

Sometimes it's because it's a book within a series I love (hello, Thursday Murder Club), or it's an author I adore (think, Maggie O'Farrell and The Marriage Portrait, paperback is out 6th July). And several it's because I absolutely love the sound of the book and I can't possibly wait for the paperback release date to see what all the fuss is about. Note, Lessons in Chemistry, which I flew through and adored, by the way. Paperback is out on 2nd March so not long to go now.

Most industry experts agree, however, that hardbacks will endure due to the opportunities presented by special editions and a “two bites of the cherry” approach to publishing where a hardback is published first, followed by a paperback, usually a year later.

If hardback book prices continue to rise, we are sure to see a decline in sales in this tough economic climate. The price differentiator between the hardback and paperback format will serve to widen the gap. Let's hope they stay commercially viable though as I'd be sad to see my favourite format go. 

To help you navigate, we have selected a series of paperbacks we have loved recently that are newly published. Enjoy...