Perhaps it's needed a brief explanation about the main differences between Paperback format and the Soft Cover format.
In this way: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080626090539AAcRzJG
thanks

That info and elsewhere I have looked seems to suggest that the term softcover is indiscriminately used and not standard anywhere, I would suggest we don't have that as a term.

For what it's worth, having worked in the printing industry for several years, primarily in book manufacturing, internally they were refered to as "soft-bound" for the paperback types and "hard-bound" for the hardboard types.

I think we need to band together and start making wiki pages to explain this stuff

A -maybe- useful reference: http://www.patrickrothfuss.com/blog/uploaded_images/DSC03481-706697.JPG

IMO, looking it from an outer point of view, it seems that:
- Hardcover book: stronger, more solid, not necessary bigger, rigid
- Softcover book: the same as the Hardcover one, but not rigid
- Paperback book: a slimmer edition, smaller, maybe without illustrations

We use to call them, in order: Rigida, Morbida, Economica

I was using the term 'soft cover' for large format books eg. http://www.biblio.gs/book/7330-Destroy-Sex-Pistols-1977 But as I was unclear on the term after reading another thread amended them all to 'paperback' - though with the book shown 'soft cover' is probably more accurate.

Bumping this discussion as soft covers are being changed to paperbacks and vice versa without any reasoning.

My understanding always was, that a PaperBACK is at about the size, to have it fit in the back pocket of your Jeans ;)

TraunStaa wrote:

My understanding always was, that a PaperBACK is at about the size, to have it fit in the back pocket of your Jeans ;)

Thats kind of the reasoning i used. So large format books I listed as 'soft cover' instead of paperback. But I still think there should be some guidelines.

So, a 700-page paperback is not really a paperback because it doesn't fit in the back pocket of anyone's jeans? ;-)

And, if paperback is a pocket-sized book with a flexible papercover, then how do you differentiate it from a "pocketbook", which we also have?

These all probably exist in the format list because different countries use different terms. My home country uses either "softcover" or "pocketbook", and I know there are other countries doing the same thing. To confuse things even further, we usually differentiate the printings by the binding (roughly translated as thread-bound and adhesive-bound).

palikao83 wrote:

http://www.patrickrothfuss.com/blog/uploaded_images/DSC03481-706697.JPG

IMO, looking it from an outer point of view, it seems that:
- Hardcover book: stronger, more solid, not necessary bigger, rigid
- Softcover book: the same as the Hardcover one, but not rigid
- Paperback book: a slimmer edition, smaller, maybe without illustrations

We use to call them, in order: Rigida, Morbida, Economica

I'm pretty sure those are the US editions, so officially they are:
1) hardback
2) trade paperback
3) mass-market paperback

In my home country they would be described as:
1) thread-bound and/or hardcover
2) adhesive-bound and/or softcover
3) adhesive-bound and/or softcover and/or pocketbook

The current situation isn't absolute horrible as this way everyone can just use whatever terms they are used to, but it also leads to somewhat redundant edits because different users are used to different definitions.

Also unifying all these different terms might be an overwhelming effort, but some consistency would be nice.

Thanks for resurfacing this, mirva. We could definitely use a tighter definition on the options on that dropdown.
I'll add a document to the Wiki on these definitions and share it here when it's up, would be good to get all your input in there as well and include all the various terms under general headers.

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the delay on this. I've just added format definitions to the in-field guidelines. Some of these I'm not super familiar with and took a bit of research, so let me know if there's any you think I missed the mark on. I couldn't find a significant difference between paperback and softcover - it seems like the softcover might refer to a Mass Market Paperback.

Getting further into this list and the definitions raised a few questions for me that I'm curious to get your perspective on:

  • Some format types are quite broad, and some very specific. Would it make sense to lean into the specific formats and encourage contributors to identify their format as specifically as possible?
  • As the difference between types like Paperback, Softcover, Pocket book and probably a few others seem to only be semantic, could these be merged?
  • Should Paperbacks with addtional media (e.g. Paperback+CD, Paperback+Cassette, etc) be kept as separate fields, or be handled in a sub-field?
  • Other - do we need this? We have Unknown format that can be used in a pinch for edits that are made without having the book in front of you. It looks like most of the things added as Other do have more suitable formats available or are things like calendars, which doesn't really fall within scope, imo.
  • Would it be interesting to add an optional field for binding type?

Hope the definitions help. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on those points.

That's a good start, and I'm glad the Format field gets a bit attention. :)

falsepriest wrote:

As the difference between types like Paperback, Softcover, Pocket book and probably a few others seem to only be semantic, could these be merged?

I think at least those three could be merged. What others were you thinking?

falsepriest wrote:

Should Paperbacks with addtional media (e.g. Paperback+CD, Paperback+Cassette, etc) be kept as separate fields, or be handled in a sub-field?

They could also be split as the audio formats could be useful for audiobooks. There lies also another issue: we can't use more than one tag from the Format drop-down.

For example audiobooks: the exact format (vinyl, CD, digital) and the amount of discs or files can only go to notes.

Same goes for box sets (you can only choose Box Set, the type and amount of volumes goes to notes) and for things like Club Edition, which can be either hardback or paperback.

It would be nice if there was a better way to enter the exact format, whether it's done with a sub-field, a new section, or changing how the format field works in general.

falsepriest wrote:

Would it be interesting to add an optional field for binding type?

Sure. The format field is currently quite limiting in many ways, so any improvement is at least welcome to me. :)

I also wouldn't mind an edition/version field, which should also include the "Club Edition" tag.

I started a long ago a thread about possible tags that could be useful: https://www.bookogs.com/forum/104162-format-description-field

I think at least those three could be merged. What others were you thinking?

Those three are the main ones, but I'm also wondering about the distinction between Mass Market Paperback and Trade Paperback - do we lean into the more specific types, keep it broad, or leave it to allow both? I quite like the specific format for cataloging purposes, but I know it's not super obvious to make the distinction when submitting. As you say in the next point, maybe a sub-field is a good way of handling that.

For example audiobooks: the exact format (vinyl, CD, digital) and the amount of discs or files can only go to notes.

That's a really good point. I think format could definitely do with be a multi-tag field.

That also highlights a question for me about audiobooks - in some ways it makes sense to me to have them cataloged here, but on the other hand since they're permitted on Discogs, do we need them in both databases?

I'll look into the 'Club Edition' tag. Thanks for pointing out that older forum thread as well, sorry I had missed this earlier. Think this would definitely make a case for format vs. sub-format.

I'm also wondering about the distinction between Mass Market Paperback and Trade Paperback - do we lean into the more specific types, keep it broad, or leave it to allow both? I quite like the specific format for cataloging purposes, but I know it's not super obvious to make the distinction when submitting. As you say in the next point, maybe a sub-field is a good way of handling that.

I do like being as specific as possible, so I wouldn't completely exclude those terms from the database either, even though they are quite North America specific.

But as they are really "sub-formats" (types of paperbacks), maybe they can go to a sub-field rather than exist as a primary format.

That also highlights a question for me about audiobooks - in some ways it makes sense to me to have them cataloged here, but on the other hand since they're permitted on Discogs, do we need them in both databases?

There's some overlap between all the databases, so I don't think it's necessarily harmful to have them in both.

But if you're looking into getting rid of most of the overlap, I think audiobooks belong here, not in Discogs. Audiobook is just one version of a work, and since the paperbook and e-book versions will be here, audiobooks should be too.

In addition, as the Discogs userbase is very music-orientated, only selected audiobooks do get submitted there, and very few actually care about them.

There's some overlap between all the databases, so I don't think it's necessarily harmful to have them in both.

Sure, it's not really a big deal to have them in both. And as you say, they're more likely (and logical) to end up grouped here on Bookogs than on Discogs.

Thanks a lot for your feedback and input here, auboisdormant, it's been really helpful. I'm going to put a plan together for how we can implement and hopefully improve that field. More to come soon!

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