Over the past few weeks, I have read many discussion posts about the eternal battle between hardbacks and paperbacks. Some people prefer pretty hardcover books, others want the lightweight paperbacks. Just in case you haven’t heard enough about this topic, allow me to make my own discussion post.
Paperbacks and hardcovers both have their own pros and cons. But if I had to choose, I would pick the hardcover every time.
1. Aesthetics – Hardcovers look better
I live in a city with a pretty good library. If I wanted to, I could get everything I read, including the new releases, at the library and save a whole lot of money each month.
I pay money for my books so that they can look pretty on my shelf after I’m finished reading them. Since I’m already doing that, I may as well shell out a few extra quid to get the best looking copy I can get my hands on, and there’s no denying that hardcovers are the best looking twin.
2. Portability – I have a Kindle for that
An issue that always comes up when discussing the difference between hardback and paperback books is the (lack of) portability. People don’t want to carry around heavy hardcovers when they have the option of getting the smaller, lighter, paperback.
Let me start by saying that I never carry around paperbacks in my backpack or purse. The idea alone of getting my books dogeared gives me shivers. If I’m going to be reading on the road, I take my Kindle.
And if I’m going away and want to take the physical copy that I’m currently reading, I would much rather haul around the sturdy hardcover instead of the fragile paperback.
3. Durability – Hardcovers look pretty longer
When I read my physical copies, I take the dust sleeve off so it doesn’t wrinkle or get coffee spilled on it. After I’m done, I put the sleeve back on, where it sits eternally on my shelf, until I inevitably rearrange my shelves again. I like to keep my books in pristine condition, and that’s not always possible with paperbacks.
It has happened too often that my paperback copies that I ordered off of Amazon or Bookdepository, arrived already dented and ripped. Hardcover books not only look prettier, they will survive a whole lot more than paperbacks.
4. Affordability – Hardcovers cost an arm and a leg
This is the only point where the paperback wins by a clear mile. I can get three paperback books for the price of one hardcover. I have rarely paid less than £ 10 for a hardcover, while paperbacks are on sale for as little as £ 3 all the time.
Before I started my first full time job, I used to only stock my shelves with paperbacks for this very reason. Quantity over quality. Now that I can afford a little more for myself, I try to get the hardcover version where possible. It helps that new releases often come out in hardcover first. I would hate to have to wait months for it to be released in paperback so it matches the rest of my shelf, or series!
What about you? Do you prefer hardcovers or paperbacks? And what made you come to that preference? Anything I didn’t mention here? I want to know!