I never read with a book lying on a desk. I am always holding it, which is what I prefer. the hard cover book seems to set better in my hands as opposed to being limp, as leather makes it. therefore the "flat on desk" point does not work for me. also, it seems that the paper is a little better on most hardbacks.
I guess it is a different strokes for different folks thing.
I am realizing that in fact I am the only one, huh?