Paperback Book Day: a wonderful celebration for a big reader who’s also a writer, ex-Waterstone’s bookseller, and would much rather have to put up with losing his page and receiving the occasional paper cut than use an e-reader.

I can’t tell you how many paperback books I own. Yes, I could count, but I can’t be bothered. It’s a few hundred though, and I’d love to have a house full of them from floor to rafters when I’m a pensioner, especially if they’re considered archaic by then.

You can’t beat browsing a bookshop (although for me it’s never just browsing, I always end up spending at least a tenner), or popping into a library to see what the people of that area have a particular taste for, such as Ings Library in Hull, which has a disproportionately large amount of westerns on its shelves compared to its brothers and sisters.

Having released a collection of short stories myself in December 2009, I’m now writing a novel… well, it’s been on hold for about a year, but it’ll get printed eventually. And though I grant that it will most probably be released as an ebook as well, I can’t wait to have the proper edition in my hand. The type that you can flick through, drum your fingers on, and take a sniff of when you think there’s nobody watching (there always is, trust me).

So here’s to paperback books (as well as hardbacks) – they may not be especially friendly to the environment, but they’ll always be this reader’s closest friend, the saucy little minxes.

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