Discussion: Paperback Vs. Hardcover


And so, I am asking perhaps one of the most difficult questions I could ask a bookworm:

Paperback Vs. Hardback. Which do you prefer?

Because I like lists, I’m going to list the pros of both paperback and hardbacks. Here in Australia we mainly get paperbacks which I do so love, but occasionally, we’ll get a hardback (usually shipped from a US supplier.) So for me? I’m probably more of a paperback fan, just because it’s what I’m used to.


  • Cheaper! Paperbacks are, of course, going to be much cheaper. Whether it’s a matter of your financial status, or the fact you can buy more books with the money you spend — I suspect this is a strong motivator.
  • They’re smaller. You can fit more on one shelf!
  • A lot of hardbacks have dustjackts. And while I love these jackets, you wouldn’t believe how many of them I’ve lost! (Seriously — where do they all go??)
  • They’re lighter! Okay, so hear me out, peoples. When I go to the library I usually borrow a stack of books bigger than myself. And hardbacks are heavy. My poor arms can only take so much. (And also easier to carry around if you’re taking them on the go.)


  • Durability. So this one is an obvious one. Spines are less likely to crack, covers aren’t going to bend, and are just going to last longer generally.
  • They are prettyI swear they do! And they look gorgeous in the shelf.
  • Sometimes, they’re the only one available. Especially with large publishing companies, they often publish the first edition of the book in hardcover, and the paperback a year later. So, if you want the paperback? You’ve got to wait another year!

So now, I’m leaving it up to you. Which do you prefer — paperbacks or hardcovers?


39 thoughts on “Discussion: Paperback Vs. Hardcover

  1. What why do we have to make a concrete decision? ;) They’re good for different things. I would definitely rather buy a paperback over a hardcover if that’s an option, because it’s basically the same book but cheaper. But for my all-time favourite books, I’d love to have all 3 options – paperback (probably because I bought it first, and for lending), hardcover (because pretty and durable – I know I’m going to read my fav books a million times), and ebook (for traveling purposes). Don’t make me pick one though!! :D

  2. I’m team paperback. Smaller, cheaper, lighter, etc etc. I was in Australia in November and I wished I’d packed less cause all I wanted to do was buy a bunch of new releases that you have in paperback.

    Some books I just can’t wait for and I get in hardcover. And you’re right, some books are just gorgeous in hard cover.

  3. This is such a good discussion Kara, but choosing is so hard! Gah! I guess it depends on the book. If it’s a recently released title I just have to have or if I know I’m going to be rereading it a lot, then I’d definitely go for hardcover. If it’s something I know I might only read a few times, I’d probably go for paperback. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Ultimately I like paperbacks the best because they are cheap and much easier to read with, but like you said, the spine creases so easily. There is nothing more annoying than a creased spine, which is why I often am very carefully when reading a new paperback. That’s where hardcovers save the day!

  5. To be paperback, or not to be. Isn’t that the question? Haha, see what I did there?
    Well, I definitely like hardbacks better, they’re just so pretty. But than there is the cost issue and broke people like us like to spend our money on books. And that’s tough. But I feel that satisfaction when I see a couple of hardbacks on the shelf. I don’t know why except for the fact of their beauty. Great discussion post!

  6. This is a tough question. Paperbacks are lighter and cheaper and smaller, all good things. Hardbacks are incredibly heavy. But I cover all my paperbacks in clear contact, so when I get a paperback i don’t have to and that is a big plus for me. I do like look of harcovers on my shelves as well. I’m TORN.

  7. Me? Paperback all the way! While spines of hardbacks are less likely to crack…when they do, it’s disastrous. When they’re the only ones available? I wait for the paperback. Hardbacks are seriously freaking expensive :P. Plus, I WON’T FALL FOR THOSE WICKED BOOK SELLING STRATEGIES. Also, eBooks can be kind of awesome too. They’re often the first to be out! (but I digress) I’ll definitely choose paperbacks over hardbacks. Unless the hardback version is really special, such as being made of fabrics or having special textures.

  8. I prefer hardbacks all the way. It’s a personal pet peeve of mine when the cover of a paperback doesn’t close properly. And because I’m a bit of a cheapie, I tend to buy used hardbacks from Amazon, and they’re usually in a good condition.

  9. Paperbacks FTW. I just feel more comfortable with them – their fragility doesn’t make me all careful. Also: hardcovers are very annoying, and you can’t read them in weird positions because the hard cover pokes at me and leaves me IN PAIN. Also: reading in bed is a whole other level if a hardback falls flat on your face…or you try to use it as a pillow…

  10. Propably paperbacks as well. In The Netherlands we mostly get paperbacks as well so just like you I’m used to them. But also because of the pros you listed! Especially the fact that they’re cheaper and thus you can buy more! 😄

  11. This is hard for me. I love looking at hardcovers and owning them (they’re so pretty….) but they can also be awkward to hold when reading and plus, paperbacks are cheaper. Awesome post!

  12. I prefer hard because they last longer and are so pretty but most of my books are paperback because I’m cheap. :-)

  13. I prefer paperbacks, mostly because that’s what I am used to, but also because they are cheaper and lighter. I often took my paperback book with me wherever I went before I got an e-reader, so havign a lighter book was handy then. I always take good care of my books, so the extra durability of harcovers never really is an issue, although those mass market paperback do get damaged easily. I own one or two series in hardcover as I don’t want to wait the extra year for the paperback to get released.

  14. There are definitely pros and cons for either side of this ongoing debate – though I think it depends on the book, and how you like to read. Paperbacks I find are easier to handle and you can definitely fit more into those small spaces which is helpful. I like to get boxed sets of books in hardbacks though, because they do look fantastic on a shelf.

  15. I’m actually a both kind of person. The only thing is that if one book in a series is paperback, ideally, they should ALL be paperbacks. And that goes for hardcovers too. I get that hardcovers are pretty but I feel like it’s the same to hold and read [maybe paperback is a little more annoying because that cover does the thing where it opens slightly after you finish reading it]

  16. Most of the time, I’m a paperback kind of girl but the only thing I like hardbacks because I can lay them open on the table without having to use my hands and then I can eat at the same time. But other that, I completely agree with your points!

  17. I definitely prefer paperbacks, because most of my books are paperbacks and they will match my shelf. Also I like to carry my books around everywhere when I’m reading, so I need them to fit in my handbag. Hardbacks are so pretty though!

  18. I love the looks of hardcovers, but I prefer paperbacks because they’re much easier, cheaper, and also more shinier! xD Love this discussion post <3

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