Bookish Debate: Hardback vs. Paperback

Hi everyone & welcome to my very first Bookish Debate post! I’m going to list the positives of both hardback and paperback books, with a conclusion at the end of this post.

So…let’s begin!

Paperbacks

Small, light and easy to carry, they’re convenient but are they better?

  • Small and light
  • Easily fit in a bag/suitcase
  • Easy to hold and hold up if you’re reading while in bed!
  • Generally cheaper
  • No dust jacket to slip off, which also makes them easier to hold

Hardbacks

Harder to carry but sometimes prettier…are they worth it?

  • No cracked spines!
  • Sometimes more beautiful
  • Have not only the dust jacket cover but a plain one underneath, so taking off the dust jacket feels like opening a present
  • Another opportunity for a quote/design on the under-jacket cloth cover!
  • Can be easier to read while sitting, as you can just lay them out on your lap

Overall, which is better?

Depending on the book, I mainly go for paperbacks. As much as I love hardbacks, they are a lot more expensive, usually double the price (at full price). But if I loved a book previously (either on Kindle or from the library), then I’ll go for the hardback because I see it as more worth it.

So basically, I do prefer hardbacks as objects. I think they look prettier and I love seeing special under-cover designs. And it’s likely that if the hardback is only a couple of pounds more than the paperback, I’ll invest in it.

What about you? Which do you prefer?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽


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32 thoughts on “Bookish Debate: Hardback vs. Paperback

  1. You can’t make me decide!!!

    I dislike hardbacks because reading with the Book jacket on is extremely annoying. It keeps sliding off! And when I remove the jacket, my greasy fingers rub off some of the book’s color on my fingertips…

    I dislike paperbacks because I’m so careless and they’re easy to damage and bend. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree! I always have to take the dust jacket off and then the cloth covers are so easily marked 😦 But I just love holding them in my lap….ohh. It’s such a hard one!

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  2. Ahhh, I was planning on posting this discussion in a couple of weeks. 😦

    I definitely prefer hardback books because they’re sturdier and I think they’re so much more aesthetically pleasing! It’s also easier for them to stand on my bookshelf. I still buy paperbacks, but usually only if the hardback isn’t accessible to me (e.g. at a used bookstores) or if it’s drastically cheaper.

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    1. I can’t wait to read it! Yep, that’s exactly the same with me. I also do this weird thing where I like to have a mixture of hardback and paperback in a series – because the author normally makes the HB’s similar, and then I get a taste of both 🙂

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  3. I’m definitely Team Paperback.

    It’s almost impossible to get hardbacks in Australia unless you wanna pay like $25+ (the exception being used bookstores) and I’m cheap and can’t justify that kind of price. I think I only have 6 hardbacks? 3 were Harry Potter preorders and the others were from bargain bins or used bookstores.

    My hands are also very small and weak 😂

    I do appreciate the aesthetic of a hardback though! They are very pretty!

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    1. I thought there must be a reason you have really pretty paperbacks over there! That’s a shame, but I’m exactly the same – there is no way I’ll spend over £10/£11 for a hardback, and only if there’s no paperback available!

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      1. Haha, yes! It’s rare that hardbacks ever get released here. There are a few exceptions, but mostly everything is paperback. And then purchasing online the shipping for hardbacks bumps the price way up. I wanted to buy a physical of a book, recently, and there was no paperback option and it was going to cost me almost $30 and I was like, “…okay, I’ll wait” haha.

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      2. I totally get that – there are some beautiful editions you guys have over there and then I look at the shipping cost and be like ‘okay…gonna have to find that one elsewhere’, haha.

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      3. That’s good, I have a lot of lovely covers, too! 🙂 I admit, I’m a sucker for a good cover – if the cover is really ugly it does affect my view of the book as a whole!

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  4. Same as you! Hardbacks often have awesome covers and they look great on a bookshelf, but they are so expensive I only buy them for books I already read and loved. My go-to are paperbacks, you can have two, sometimes three for the price of a hardback. They fit in a bag so you can take them anywhere and they don’t look bad on Instagram pictures!

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  5. I used to be Team Hardback, but I am now firmly on Team Paperback! I usually lie down and read and the corners of the hardbacks poke me and its just generally difficult to be comfortable reading a hardback while lying down, lol. Also in order to preserve the dust jacket, I always remove it when reading. Then it just looks quite boring going around with a black book. With a paperback you can show off the pretty cover of the book you are reading. Lastly, paperbacks are cheaper! Why not save money if you can? I think paperbacks can be just as pretty on shelves as hardbacks. #TEAMPAPERBACK WOO!

    Liked by 1 person

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