Trades, how I love thee. You make reading comics so much more convenient.
Just as much as I love going to pick up comics, I can get frustrated having to wait a whole month for the next installment. I get impatient. Sometimes I completely forget what happened in the last issue. Sometimes I keep picking up the same issue over and over again (Spider-Woman #27, I am talking about you).
But with trades (or TPBs or hardcovers or graphic novels or whatever you like to call them), you can pick up the whole story at once. If your willing to wait to read something, collected volumes of comics are so much more convenient.
They’re also more portable than carrying a stack of comics around with you. Its a lot easier to read Emperor Joker on an airplane as a trade, then having a whole pile of single issues. Also, if your on the subway reading an X-Men hardcover and are self conscious, you can slip the dust jacket off, and no one will know what your reading. Can’t do that with a floppy.
As you can see by my picture, I love trades. They fit so well on bookshelves.
Really, my favorite part of trades is that it makes it so much easier to share comics with your friends. Are you really enjoying the new Blue Beetle series? You can loan it to a friend to check out. Trying to impress a coworker about why comics are fun? You can have them borrow Sin City or 100 Bullets. I’ll have you know that my copy of Watchmen has made its way around my social circles numerous times.!
Obviously, you can stop by a comics shop or bookstore to pick some up. But consider checking out your public library as well. As this format has taken off, libraries have been stocking up on trades, as they can hold up to all the stress of being circulated. Check out WorldCat to find titles to read at a library near you.