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.?
First, I need to disagree with part of the first question. I know we shouldn't judge a book by its cover but I can't possibly be the only person who does?! If I am just wandering around the library or bookstore with no particular book in mind, a cover most definitely sways my opinion on the book. If I don't like the cover, sometimes I don't even pick up the book to check it out. Now if it is an author that I already love, that's a different story. I couldn't even tell you what are on the covers of my favorite books; titles and authors are all I remember.
Hardcover vs. soft cover:
I have to say that given the choice I am a hardcover person. I love the way they look, the way they feel, the thickness of the pages, all of it. That being said I don't think hard or soft cover affects my "reading enjoyment" to that large of an extent.
Trade paperback vs. Mass market paperback:
Honestly they are the same to me. Trade paperbacks are usually better quality but paperback is paperback.
I'd prefer fonts not to be microscopic but other than that font doesn't make too big of a difference in my enjoyment of the book. And illustrations?! I have to laugh because the only books I see now with significant illustrations are my children's picture books and knitting books.
Did anyone ever have to read any of the Norton Anthologies in college? I still have a few of mine. I LOVED how big they were but the pages--good Lord--they were thinner than tissue paper. It used to drive me crazy!
So to sum up, I guess the design of a book affects my love of the book itself but not the content.