While acknowledging that we can’t judge books by their covers, how much does the design of a book affect your reading enjoyment? Hardcover vs. softcover? Trade paperback vs. mass market paperback? Font? Illustrations? Etc.?
Ah, this is a great question and allows me to explore my weird book neuroses in greater detail. First, I have to get this off my chest. I do judge books by their covers. I can't help it. There aren't any pretty pictures inside the books that I read, so is it too much to ask for a pretty pictue on the outside that make me drool in anticipation?
When it comes to hardcover or softcover, I have no preference except for when I need a book to be particularly portable. I did a lot of reading on the train back when I lived in a place where there was public transportation, and paperbacks are just more conducive to that. That's not to say I didn't still carry hardcovers back and forth for my train reading, I did (even that hulking Harry Potter finale!), but it certainly wasn't as convenient.
I'm a total nut for trade paperbacks. I like that they're a little bigger but they're still portable. I just like how they feel in my hands, and they just generally seem like a better quality book. I'm also a little put off of mass markets because the types of books I read aren't typically made in that format - though there are notable exceptions to that including one book that I'm reading now. I'm a lit/fiction sort, and when I see mass market, I guess I'm usually expecting something genre. I read genre fiction on occasion and enjoy it, but usually when I'm looking for a book, I'm looking for a trade paperback.
This brings us to font. I'm so picky about fonts that I start to feel like Goldilocks. This font is too big! This font is too small! This font is just riiiiight! But I have to say, if I can't have my ideal font size, I'd rather the font be a little too small. If the font is a little small, I can usually suck it up and deal with it. Oh but if it's too big, that really bothers me. That's my chief problem with some of the young adult books I read. I mean, why is it that a teenager needs a book with slightly oversized font? Does that make it more approachable or something? Not for me. Really large print books that aren't written for small children, frankly, give me the creeps. Gosh, I hope I never lose my eyesight because reading one of those large print books might possibly drive me insane. Weird much?