Are hardcover or paperbacks better?
Hardcover or paperback? What did I care? They were all books. The story was the same no matter which version you bought, right? So, what difference did it make? What difference does it make?
It makes a difference for the reading experience.
Maybe I never realized how important version is until I actually got into reading consistently. More importantly, started placing items on a bookshelf. Because these are the two main things that effect whether a reader buys hardcover or paperback, right?
Well, they sure affect my opinion now. I pay extremely close attention to whether my books are hardcover or paperback before I buy them because it will save me the never-ending stress that will ensue after I buy them. Not following? Let me explain.
1. Reading Experience
After reading copious amounts of physical books over the last year and hauling them with me half-way around the world and back (literally), I’ve come to realize that I do have a preference between hardcover and paperback. I prefer hardcover books. I prefer hardcover books for a couple reasons.
A) A broken spine is the most cringe-worthy thing to ever smite the cover of a book. I’m serious. I refuse to buy a book with a broken spine no matter how much I want that book because the spine will stare at me from my bookshelf for decades to come. That is an unacceptable blemish on the masterpiece that is my perfectly-oriented and organized bookshelf.
i) Because I have such a deep-rooted fear of breaking the spine on a book, I hardly open my paperbacks when I read. No joke! I open the book only the smallest amount, just enough to see the last word on the end of the paragraph and no further. Thus, I look like someone in the restricted section afraid to open the book too far for fear of a screaming demon ripping free from the pages within.
B) Removal of the dust jacket is key to preserving the way a book looks. On paperback books, whatever happens to your book, happens to your cover. Gets smushed in your bag? Bent cover. A dribble of coffee escapes your over-full cup? Forever marred by that beige-hued splotch. With hardcovers, however, one can simply remove the oh-so-gorgeous dust jacket and replace it once the reading sequence has completed. Thus at least giving the appearance of a beautiful, perfect, pristine book. :p
i) Remember to always keep the free dust jacket in a humidity-free location. If left in humid air, the jacket will begin to curl to the point of impossible replacement within the actual book. BEWARE!
2. Bookshelf Categorization
Now, we had a very thorough discussion about bookshelf organization last year, which you can read up on here. So, I won’t get into this too much. However, if you recall, because of how I organize my bookshelf, paperback vs. hardcover is EXTREMELY important to me. Why? Height.
second (because I have so many unread books) first level of bookshelf hierarchy is height. I don’t care if the books are in the same genre or in the same series. If their heights do not match, there is no way in the nine levels of Hell that the books will be placed next to each other. (I have proof of this, too.)
Thus, it has become extremely important for me to pay attention to which version of a book I’m buying before it ever leaves that store. (And I’ve almost bought the wrong versions before. THE HORROR! 0.0) But I am aware of the casualties that can occur now, and I am better prepared for book
But I mean, we’ve already established (in like every discussion ever) that I’m a crazy person. So maybe hardcover or paperback is more important to me because I just… care way too much about books. Haha! Perhaps I need to make friends or something, like normal people. :p So, what do you think?
Do you have a preference between hardcover and paperback?
Leave your thoughts in the comments!
And check out my discussion from last week:
“Limited by Genre“