The term "graphic novel" was held for longer length, special format stories. Collections of individual stories bound together were trade paperbacks. It is still the term I use today.
I was alerted to the existence of these trades at WalMart via a story on the comic gossip site "Bleeding Cool".
WalMart is starting to stock a variety of Marvel trades at $5.00 each. Each book also has a code for a free digital download (a realm I have yet to investigate.)
Here is a picture of the books at my WalMart that I posted on the Bleeding Cool site:
It is an impressive display. I picked up the Spider-Man, Avengers and Guardians. I had read the issues in the Cap collection and looking it over didn't think my son would enjoy it as much as the others. Both my son and I devoured the other collections.
I give high marks to the Spider-Man and Avengers collections. The Guardians was a bit more of a mish-mash, suffering from changing art styles, Brian Michael Bendis' habit of having each character sound exactly the same, and having just seen the INCREDIBLE movie for a second time...
these stories were pale in comparison.
Our favorite was the Spider-Man collection. He is a character I have never collected or read regularly. The story line, regarding a new Hobgoblin, was intriguing enough that we are on the lookout for the next wave of these books.
The Avengers presented a nice time travel mystery that we want to see finished, too.
All in all, if you have a mild interest in comic books or these characters (who more and more read like their big screen counterparts), five bucks and a WalMart...you're in for a good time.