It seems to me that lately I’ve really been less into the usual larger trade paperback size for RPGs, and more and more into the pocket-sized or digest-sized RPG books. The larger trades are great for splash art, lengthy tables, charts, etc., but carrying one around seems more and more conspicuous and unwieldy. Books like Burning Wheel, Traveller Pocket Edition, Thousand Suns, and the newer Robotech RPG can pass as regular paperbacks. Heck, even Squirrel Attack! could pass for some sort of zoology pamphlet. I’m not ashamed of my hobby—anyone at work could tell you that—but there are times I just want to quietly read, you know? I can throw Pocket Traveller in my sweatshirt or jacket pocket. That isn’t happening with my Pathfinder Core Rulebook, however aesthetically awesome it may be.
Of course, there are drawbacks. Digest-sized or standard paperbacks have less room for art, and often times (as in the case of pocket-sized Traveller), the font is comparatively tiny. Layout becomes even more important in a smaller book like that, to my mind.
There are ways to taken open-license games and print them yourself in this type of format; several PDF programs support the resizing needed. But honestly, I don’t want to spend the ink and the time when I could just buy it. I have been thinking about doing a d6 Pocket Essentials edition, but don’t know if anyone would be into that or not.
I’m not sure if I’m alone on this, but how cool would a pocket OSRIC or Castles & Crusades be? Heck, I’ll even hold out hope for a Pocket Pathfinder (although with the OGL in place, you could realistically do that yourself). It may not be ideal for every game, but more pocket editions would likely find their way to my, well, pocket.