Nearly every book I have ever read in my life has been a paperback. Many people I know -- I admit it, myself included -- will not think twice about spending fifty bucks, and on occasion a hundred, in a bar or a restaurant, but will balk at buying a hard-cover book because it seems "expensive." Some authors I know had books published in hardback, which were never subsequently published in a soft-cover version. These writers not only felt disappointed, they had the sensation that they'd been cheated.
There is something light-hearted about paperbacks: They evoke the beach, the subway, those awkward eggheads who stuff them in their jacket pockets, women who throw everything into their handbags. No matter how hard you try to protect them, you know they will get bent, folded, dropped, sat on, stained. They are truer to life than hardbacks -- they take a beating and show their scars.
That was all a preamble to say that First Stop in the New World has just come out in paperback. If you buy it in a store it will cost a little more than half the price of the hardcover, and if you buy it on Amazon far less than half. Those of you who have been putting it off: Go ahead and get it already. Those of you who already have it: Get another copy for a friend.