Jan 12, 2012

Book Preference: Hardcover or Paperback?

Eliminating ebooks for a second here - let's go old school. Before there was a such thing as a Kindle or Nook when we were all forced to hold an actual book in our hands, which did you prefer to hold?

This has always interest me. I know people who would choose a paperback over a hardcover and then there are people like me who do EVERYTHING they can to make sure any book they own is in hardcover (unless, of course, it was never released in that format).

I'm curious to your choice and why you prefer (or preferred if you read books via kindle/nook) that format.

Here's why I love hardcovers. They're more durable. I find they are easier to read than paperbacks. They can be used as a weapon. Most times (at least with me) you can't even tell I read a book unless its paperback. The cover always bends, no matter how hard I try not to do it...it happens. But a hardcover, its beautiful and new looking. I like my books to last awhile, especially since I lend them to other people.

Here's the best example I have. I have a set of the HUNGER GAMES in hardcover and UK paperback edition. The paperbacks are falling apart, literally. The hardcovers are in near mint condition. (The first book has a damaged corner from ME dropping it the day I got it lol) I got these books about two to three months apart from each other. I've read both just as many times but yet the pages aren't about to fall out of the hardcover version.

So now that I have shared with you my preference and why I prefer it...let's hear it. Leave in the comments which you love and why! I'm totally curious how many prefer which format!


  1. I prefer paperback. Though I like hardcovers I like my paperbacks much better. They seem easier to transport and stuff into my purse or bag when I'm going out.
    I understand that hardcovers are more durable but for me I just love to get paperbacks.

  2. I LOVE this discussion! You know how I love my Kindle, but I still love my real books too. For me, my answer isn't really a pre-Kindle answer. My answer is a pre-book blogging and current answer lol.

    Before I discovered the wonderful world of book blogging, I was a hardcore paperback lover. Yeah, some of my books came in hardcover, but if I had the choice, it was paperback all the way. I have no idea why other than that for the same reason Nicole said, they were easier to transport, lighter to hold up in front of your face when you're laying in bed, etc. Also, probably because they're cheaper. And if it was a series and I started it in paperback, I wanted it all in paperback. I even remember going to B&N on different occasions asking when the paperback of a book would be available and they would always tell me it's usually six months after the hardcover is out and I would walk away, all "grrr".

    I have been book blogging for almost two years now (my blogoversary is in two weeks!) and my tastes have changed. I still like the paperbacks, and like you said, sometimes there are books only released in that form and that's fine. But my shelf has a ton of hardcovers on it now and they are all shiny and new. They ARE more durable and the covers don't bend and they are beautiful. It IS a pain to lay down and read one though, like I was doing last night with ACROSS THE UNIVERSE (arm cramps!), but I can't even imagine waiting until a paperback comes out to get all of these awesome books. I've even broken my if-the-series-starts-in-paperback-continue-it-in-paperback rule, at least with Melissa de la Cruz's books. When I first discovered them, they were in paperback already and I have the first 3 or 4 in that format, but the later ones I have in hardcover.

    So there ya go. My very long winded response!

  3. Beyond a book being in print I don't have too much of a preference. Though the durability of one versus another is a great reason to go with the hardcover. And also the design for hardcovers (cover included) may be more eye catching and have more work put into it.

    My mom and book club members tend to wait for paperback because of weight and price mainly. And also it's interesting that so much more emphasis is placed on hardcovers as those are the ones that are considered for major literary awards (not so much if your book was only pubbed in paperback). Funny to find that there's a stigma if you have not been pubbed in hardcover and paperback and only the latter.

    Interested to know what others think in this debate.

  4. @Amber - I must be weird because I find it easier to read a hardcover laying down than I do a paperback lol. Cause that's when I do most of my reading, is laying down before I go to sleep. I always take my covers off so I don't ruin them...then I cover my book in a handmade paper trash bag cover (You remember the ones you used to do in school for textbooks, maybe? Yeah, that's what I do)

    I cannot have a series half paperback and half hardcover. I get all twitchy over the idea. I just can't do it. I always go on Amazon and buy the whole series in hardcover...which sometimes is a pain because depending on how old the series is, it might be out of print (like the Black Dagger Brotherhood, I'm having trouble finding books #2 & #3) or they're more expensive because they're older. BUT I find with current books, they're not that expensive IF you buy them online. I hardly EVER buy books in a bookstore only because they're $20 a pop. Why would I do that when I can get the same book for almost half the cost online?

    I've also heard that some publishing companies are trying something new. And I will give you an example. Hannah Moskowitz has a new YA book coming out in April (Gone, Gone, Gone) and Simon & Schuster is trying this new thing where they release the hardcover AND paperback on the same day. So, this might be something that sticks...depending on how they the sales for both go. I like this idea because if you have paperbacks you have to wait, like you said, six months until its released.

  5. Oooh, I totally know what you mean. Used to go crazy over book covers for math books and such lol. I've never actually done that for one of my hardcovers though. If I'm home, I leave the cover on, but if I'm out somewhere with it and don't want to risk it, I take the cover off.

    I like that Simon & Schuster idea. I hope that works because that would be an amazing trend to start!

  6. I prefer paperback. I really really hate reading hardbacks with dust jackets on. I always take them off while I'm reading (unless of course it's a library book & taped on). I suppose it's not so much hardbacks that I hate, just the dust covers. :) But I still own my share of hardbacks with gorgeous dust covers!

  7. This is a touch question actually! If I'm not at home, I prefer paperback books simply because they are lighter and easier to lug around. When I'm at home, I prefer hard cover because they lay open flatter, so my hand doesn't get tired trying to hold the book open.

    Although, hard cover books often have those obnoxious book sleeves that never stay on right. I usually end up casting those aside, and they eventually get lost!


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