Paperback and Hardback

How to Choose between Paperback and Hardback

If you’ve ever wanted to buy a book, chances are you’ve been faced with the age-old question that worries every librarian everywhere: paperback or hardcover? Both formats have advantages and disadvantages. Studying both will make it easier for you to make a choice and start reading!

Cost and purpose

Save money with a paperback.

As any reader who likes to save knows, the paperback is often the cheapest option. It’s maybe 10 to 15 euros cheaper. Mass-market versions, which were manufactured cheaply, cost even less than ten euros.

Purchase a hardback if you plan to read the book as soon as it is published.

Most books are first published in hardback and then re-released in paperback a few months later to fuel the market. If you’ve been waiting for a book to be published for a long time, treat yourself to the more expensive version so you can read it immediately.

Paperbacks are good if you read while traveling.

Because they’re light and flexible, they’re good for plane and car trips, or even your daily commute. Carry a paperback in your bag or even your pocket if you have some time to read during the day.

Buy a hardcover book if you plan to keep it for a long time.

Hardcover books are designed to last, endure daily use, and stand the test of time. Paperback books tear, crease, and discolor more easily. Over time, the glue in the spine of the book weakens or the paper begins to fall out. If you don’t want to take the time and effort to fix a paperback, then choose a hardback.

Buy a hardcover book as a gift.

If you are giving a book to a friend or relative, buy the hardcover version. It looks better and brings a more satisfying feeling when opening the gift. The loved one will appreciate that you chose the fancier option. Don’t worry if you don’t have money for a hardback book or it’s sold out. The most important thing is that you choose a good book for your loved one that they like!

Look and feel

Choose the variant that goes well with the rest of the books on your shelf.

Some readers have all their books the same height because that looks better on the shelf, don’t you think? Paperbacks are mostly different. Buy hardback books if you want an even bookshelf. Paperbacks are sometimes released at the same rate as hardbacks. Check the measurements of your closet and those of your other books before ditching paperbacks altogether. If the height is right, you can save a few bucks and your bookshelf will look even.

Choose the variant that matches the others in a series.

If the book you’re buying is part of a series, try to be consistent. If the rest are bound books, then buy a bound book. If the other books are paperbacks, then buy paperbacks. Book lovers who love aesthetics almost all say it looks better!

Buy a paperback if you want the book to be easier to hold.

They are lighter and smaller, making paperbacks easier to hold with one hand. You can read them easily while relaxing in bed or on the couch, or while holding on to a strap or pole on the subway.

Hardcover books lie flat better.

Some paperbacks cause problems if you don’t want to break the spine, which gives a long, vertical crease. You may barely open the book to protect the delicate spine, which makes reading difficult. The hard covers of a bound book eliminate this problem. You can simply lay the book flat and read on a table or on your lap.

Choose the version with the prettier cover.

Hardcover books often have wonderful designs. Even if the hardcover isn’t a “special edition,” you’ll still get beautiful art on the cover, flap, and even the pages that a paperback might not have. Sometimes bound books also have a nicer design on the inside of the cover. If aesthetics are important to you, then buy the book you like better.

Publish a book yourself

Then a hardback is more appealing to critics and aesthetic readers.

It’s expensive to publish a hardcover book, but many readers love the better quality. Your book will also be voted for by newspapers and book critics, who see a hardback as a “better literary” work, unfair as that may be!

Choose a trade paperback, i.e. a paperback with a sophisticated spine, if you want good quality at a low price.

It’s still weighty, about the same size as a bound book, and printed on good paper. It combines the advantages of a well-crafted book with those of a lower price compared to a bound book. The book still looks good, so it’s appealing to readers who want to save but still value the look of a book.

Save the most money by choosing a mass-market paperback.

A small run of mass-market paperbacks is the cheapest option. It doesn’t look as good as a hardback or trade paperback, but publishers like mass-market execution to showcase new authors and grow their readership.

You can also publish online, this is called e-publishing.

It’s a fast-growing medium that allows you to reach many different readers online. You make even more money because you save on printing costs. You don’t have the satisfaction of holding an actual book in your hands, but e-publishing can serve as a stepping stone to publishing hard copies. You are on the right track!

Alternative ways to read

With an audio book, you can read and do other tasks.

Listen to an audio book while driving or doing chores, or close your eyes and let it lull you to sleep. Even if you’re not holding a book and your eyes are wandering the page, an audiobook is great for busy readers who like to spend time with books whenever they can.

An e-reader brings the ultimate convenience.

E-readers are perfect for book lovers who travel. You can store your entire library in a tablet that fits in the palm of your hand and easily buy books on the go. This is also great for visually impaired readers, as the font size and line spacing are adjustable. E-books are often cheaper than hardbacks or paperbacks, although some readers prefer the human touch of a real book and page-turning. Buy an e-reader that doesn’t have a backlight so you don’t damage your eyes or tire them.

Use a reading app on your phone to read anytime, anywhere.

Another great option for readers on the go is reading apps, like iBooks or the Amazon Kindle app. The apps are often free (you have to buy the books, of course!). These are great options if you’re unexpectedly stuck somewhere and don’t have a book or e-reader with you, or don’t have room for a book while commuting or running errands.

About the Author

Jordan Williams

As a contributor, Jordan Williams writes roundups of the best holiday deals as well as popular products ranging from consumer electronics and small appliances to holiday discounts. Jordan has worked for several news outlets and media organizations prior to writing for Freevoucherhub.