Discussion post

Do You Prefer Hardcover or Paperback Books?

I thought it would be a good time for another bookworm discussion! Do you have a preference between paperback books or hard covers?

Personally, I tend towards paper back books mainly because of their price point. I find that the  money I can save per book, can add up quickly and can mean that I’m able to add one more book to my shopping cart!

I am currently getting ready to move to Montreal in two weeks, and I’m packing up many of my books and I was surprised at how many more paper back books I have compared to hardback books! Beyond the lower price point, I think an often-overlooked benefit to owning paper backs is they are slightly lighter then hardbacks. While this may seem trivial, at the moment I can assure you the difference is becoming quite apparent!

While I do appreciate the beauty of a hardback book, I rarely will spurge on them if a paperback is available. I will purchase a hardback in two scenarios, if the book is brand new and there is no paperback available, and if they cover art is significantly nicer on the hardback. I usually only find this to be an issue when a movie is being made of a book, and all of the mass-market paperbacks now are covered with photos of the actors, which I don’t really enjoy.

On the second-hand market however, I will buy what ever catches my eye. As I find that the price points are often so good I can get whatever sparks my fancy. Though I must say that I do have quite a few hardback books that I bought second-hand, which I think does say something about their ability to hold up against wear and tear of everyday life.

So that’s it! I really love paperbacks, but I can absolutely appreciate the beauty and durability that hardbacks provide!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Do you have a strong preference between these options, why or why not!

Hope you guys have a wonderful day!

49 thoughts on “Do You Prefer Hardcover or Paperback Books?”

  1. I definitely prefer paperbacks. They’re a lot cheaper to buy and I prefer reading paperbacks. With a hardback I always have to take the dust jacket off (if it has one) as I don’t want it ripping or getting damaged. I also find paperbacks easier to carry around as generally they’re lighter, smaller. and easier to fit into my bag😊
    I do have some hardbacks but usually they’re new releases that I really want to read, there isn’t a paperback option yet, or books I’ve bought second hand!

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  2. I love both paperbacks and hardbacks but I predominantly buy paperbacks just because they are cheaper. I also find them easier to shelve. However I get really annoyed sometimes when a book is first released in hardback and I have to wait nearly a year to have it in paperback, especially with series I initially bought in paperback.

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      1. Me too, but with some series I’ve had to mix them. I’m not as picky about it as I used to be but it’s still a preference.

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  3. I prefer hardbacks because of their durability. I am slowly replacing old, falling-apart favorite paperbacks with hardbacks simply because the paperbacks don’t hold up as well. That said, when looking at new books, I usually get paperbacks because of the price.

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  4. Paperbacks are easier to read and take everywhere, but non-fiction or reference books, especially those with beautiful pictures are best in hardback, to be kept and treasured. But even those of us who love books find it so tempting to just Google a fact or date when we’re busy writing, rather than go downstairs to the bookshelf, and decide on a likely book, look up the index, find the pages…

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  5. I prefer hardcover for photos, it’s hard to get paperbacks to stand up and reading a paperback warps the cover for photos, but all in all I prefer to read paperbacks. They feel like they fit in my hand better.

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  6. Reference books definitely hardback. My favourite author all her books are hardback as well. My Christmas book is always hardback. However, most of my fiction books are paperbacks because of price.

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  7. If I want a special edition of a book or if there is a book that I’m desperate to read and its only in hardcover then I will get hardcover but other than that 98% of all books are paperwork. Mainly because they are cheaper, easier to shelf and also I read a lot while commuting so I don’t want to put my back out! 😛

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  8. I think hardbacks look nicer, and they’re really nice to collect. There’s something so appealing about them. For reading, though, I definitely prefer paperback. Like you said, the prices tend to be considerably better on paperback. Plus, they’re just easier to hold while reading. Reading hardbacks feels awkward to hold for me, and they’re harder to carry in my purse with me when I go out.

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  9. Hi!
    Paperbacks are more convenient for me, you’re right, lighter and usually more economical. They can always fit in a bag, you can carry one in your hand, flexible spine and cover, it all just lends itself to being more compact and easy to flip open and start reading. Paperbacks are just more fun, probably because they’re more casual.
    Hardbacks – I would buy hardbacks when I want to display beautiful tomes on my shelves, not so much to display them for others to see but for myself, to see those gorgeous, solid hardbacks, pluck one off the shelf and settle into my robust, brown, leather armchair, next to a crackling fire and sink into those sage words from a sage author! 😁
    My little exaggeration aside, for the everyday read, paperbacks win. For long-term catalogue, those well-designed hardbacks take pride of place.
    Nice article, I liked it.
    B.K. Moradeyo

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I only buy hardback if it’s a brand new book that I absolutely have to have, otherwise I also prefer paperback. It also depends on the series; one I am reading now I plan to buy each in hardback just for consistency purposes.

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  11. I honestly really hate book jackets which deters me from hardbacks. Plus they are heavier and more expensive as mentioned. But I agree, if I’m buying them used, I have no preference! My main preference is physical books over digital.

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  12. I go through stages! I find that if I’ve just read a hardback, I’m more inclined to pick up another hardback for my next book (I’m not sure why – I think I’m a creature of habit!). If I’m at a library I always lean towards hardbacks, but when buying myself it’s the paperback which wins, so I think the price difference does have an impact!

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