Just for fun, here’s an explanation of my rating system, a glossary of terms and other useful information.
- 0 – Could not finish
- * – Hated it (but managed to read all the way to the end)
- ** – Didn’t like it
- *** – It was okay
- **** – Liked it
- ***** – Loved it
- ISBN: International Standard Book Number; When a book is printed, it is assigned one of these handy ID numbers. Every format of every book gets its own ISBN, so (for example) if you need the revised 5th edition (published in 2001) of a textbook, the ISBN number will help you be sure you have the exact book your professor requires. Books will have an ISBN-10 and an ISBN-13. In my experience, if you are calling or going to a book store in search of a specific book, the bookseller who is helping you will be quite excited when you say: “I have the ISBN number.” It’s the easiest and most reliable way to search for a book. (In this blog, I will include the ISBN for the exact copy of the book I am reviewing)
- Abridged: An abbreviated version of a book. Children’s classic editions are often abridged versions of the originals.
- Unabridged: The full version of the book. Collegiate Dictionaries are generally unabridged.
- eReader: A device used for reading an eBook. Examples include nook, Kindle, Sony eReader and iPad.
- Popcorn: A book or series that is light, easy and fun to read. Usually can be read quite quickly and is difficult to put down before reaching the end.
- Soft Story: A book that has more substance to it than a fluff-novel but is still a light read.
- Trade Cloth: More commonly known as Hardcover. The most durable of the popular book formats. Usually priced $20.00 and up. (My preferred format)
- Trade Paper: The larger format of paperback. Nice to hold, and usually have clearer printing than the Mass Market paperbacks. Also have acid-free paper and will hold up longer than the smaller/cheaper version. Usually priced $10.00-$20.00
- Mass Market: The small format of paperback (some people call them “pocket-books”). Lower quality printing and paper. Won’t hold up to a beating, but good for students who intend to read the book once for school and never give it a second look. Literally designed for the masses, and priced $10.00 and below.
- Library Bound: A non-traditional format. Designed with libraries in mind so they will hold up to constant use and abuse. Usually higher priced than a standard book (this is why, if you lose a library book, they charge you $20 to replace a book when you can go to the store and buy it for $7.99), but the long shelf-life makes up for the price. (I have a single-volume edition of His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman [ISBN-13: 9780375947223] in this format. Very nice copy! If you unknowingly set it in a drip of jelly on the table, you can wipe it away with a damp cloth and no harm done.)
- Leather Bound: A good format for book collectors and bibliophiles. They often have gold-edged pages and a ribbon page marker. The store I work at sells a small variety of titles in this format for about $20.00.
- Audio Book: Books on CD. Usually cost a little more than the hardcover copy. Often available in Abridged and Unabridged formats. I have no personal experience with Audio Books, but I have been told that it’s a good idea to see if you can listen to a sample before you buy, just to make sure you like the reader’s voice.
- eBook: A new and exciting format that seems to grow more popular by the day. You can download these to your computer, blackberry or eReader and read them pretty much anywhere without having to carry around the actual volume. Prices range depending on the publisher, the host site you are downloading from, and the device you are using, but they usually cost less than the physical book.