{DISCUSSION} Hardcover vs Paperback

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.

My 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 bingeing shopping.

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


37 thoughts on “{DISCUSSION} Hardcover vs Paperback”

  1. I prefer hardcovers, but have noticed that I have fewer compunctions about making marks in paperbacks. But you might be as appalled at the idea of underlining or commenting in books as you are of stacking them sideways, or not organizing them according to height?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You… WRITE in books?! 😨 dies

      Haha! I am quite appalled by people who do that. I could barely manage to write in textbooks in college. 😛 Though, it’s easier to ignore than inappropriate stacking or organizing. So, it doesn’t bother me quite as much. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was afraid that my comment would make you faint. I hope you have recovered. 😊 It took me a long time to get to that point, but now I like to mark content or language that really speak to me, and it’s easier to find them again later.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hard cover for sure! I get so into my books that paperbacks usually get bent (not on purpose of course). Plus, most of the time hardcovers have prettier covers, and I feel like they are easier to hold on to when reading.

    Don’t get me started on my shelves. I still have no idea how I want to fix them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha! I can understand hardcovers being easier to hold on to. Paperbacks are sometimes too floppy and just like… don’t hold their shape. 😑 As to prettier? Hmm… depends more on the publisher, I think. :/

      You don’t have any idea how you want to organize your bookshelf? 0.0 Are you sure you’re a reader?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve got two bookshelves at the moment in two rooms due to space and room shape, so My visible one has books I’ve read and has a decoration shelf, but my upstairs one is overflowing with TBR books lmao. I’m torn between aesthetically pleasing shelves, and organized a-z title or genre shelves.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. I know! I’m usually a practical person and like functionality, but I LOVE seeing IG pictures of bookshelves where they are decorated with funko pops and the books are arranged in different ways, and I would love to do that. But then I look at how many books I need to fit in the shelves and I tell myself that I need to arrange them in an actual bookshelf way to get the most space utilization. But that feels so boring. I love seeing books arranged by color, but then I feel like I would never find anything. I’m so indecisive. It will come to me at some point.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Bahahaha! I see those and just go: CLUTTERRRRRRR! 0.0 panic panic panic Must clean! Must organize! WAAAAH!

              :p That and I don’t actually have any like… bookish swag or anything. Haha! I’m like the worst bookstagrammer ever. Probably reasons why I stopped. 😉

              Oh man! I HATE rainbow shelves. They bug the CRAP out of me. But then… I think it’s because I’m too ‘doom and gloom’ for rainbows. 😂

              Liked by 1 person

              1. You crack me up! I’m usually the same way with the clutter thing, but some people have some pretty shelves that I envy. And don’t forget I’m part unicorn, rainbow hair lmao! JK. I may end up organizing by author and still keep a tbr and read shelf. I have a few funkos and some video game swag that I want to display, but I may make a shelf just for those.


            1. Huh. I have such a hard time reading ebooks. I read them way slower, but I spend so much time on technology for everything else, that I enjoy being able to get away from it for reading. You know?
              And I get eye strain no matter what setting the tech is on. Just super sensitive, I suppose. (Or worn out because of the reason above.)

              Liked by 1 person

  3. This. Was. Hilarious.
    You are a little nuts. But I love ya anyway.
    I have no organization on my shelves because the min I got my shelf, I just started getting books off the floor. I have one shelf that’s too short and almost skins the top of my books, so I have to empty the contents and move it up…just feels like such a pain. And now I’m thinking of stacking horizontally to use the wasted space above the vertical books…so I’m thinking of turning all my books flat and stacking them on the shelf that way!
    I think I’d drive you crazy!! 😂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha! I am a little nuts! Duh! 😂

      😨 Sideways stacked books?! The horror! And yes, that would bother the bejeebus out of me, but mainly because if my books are side stacked, then they have to be stacked a certain way. All the books have to be perfectly centered so they get smaller at top like a pyramid.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hmmm… I think you have some serious OCD issues Melanie lol
    But seriously I prefer a hardback if I know I’m going to keep the book – I have in fact bought the hardback of books I have read the paperback version of for that reason. But I also love some of the paperbacks I’ve bought and not replaced despite the fact they’re worn, I don’t know maybe it’s a reminder of the times shared.

    It’s good to see you – I hope you’re well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bahahaha! 😂 I can’t argue with you, Simon.

      I totally understand. I don’t buy a new copy of a book just to match because there is some sentimental value with the copy I read.

      I am doing well, thank you! I hope you are well also. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I always struggle with this question because I am a bed reader, and well paperback is much lighter. But to be honest, I am also a book collector. So hardcover wins. For all of the valid points you have listed. They are durable, beautiful and so accommodating to my hoarding habits 😉 I am always saddened when I discover a book cannot be purchased in hardcover. I also secretly cringe when I see someone reading a title with the dust jacket on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HAhahaha! Yes! I am not alone in the removal of dust jackets. :p Seriously, though. Like… if you take your book everywhere with you, the dust jacket is subjected to sooo much torture and will never look as nice as it did when you first bought it. And I never understood the argument: “The dust jacket is designed to protect the book.” Psh! The dust jacket is designed to hide the book. 😂

      Oo! Bed reading. I do that a lot and I haven’t found a preference between hardcover or paperback for that. Though, I’m super lazy and like… never actually hold my book up anyway. :p That’s what my lap was designed for. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hardcovers for their prettyness and quick releases.
    Paperbacks for their easy access, price and standarized sizes?¿? hahaha

    But after all that, the fact is that I only get paperbacks and love them! Yes, to read I prefer a good US floppy one, but I have that problem with heights too so I usually go for the UK versions! And the trick to not damage the spines, well… I read very cautiously!! 😂😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha! You sound like me, Matxi! But are paperbacks really standard sizes?? Because mine are quite a variety of heights. Maybe it depends on the publisher or something??? I think mass market paperbacks tend to be smaller than new releases. Hmmm… now I’m curious. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. well yes,I would say there are three sizes, the mass market little ones, then the UK and European size and then US ones that are bigger! At least, that’s the conclusion I’ve came to! I have actually these three formats but I stay as true as I can to the UK one!! 😂😂😂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hahaha! Now I want to go look at my books. 😂 I have 2 books from the UK and they are definitely smaller than some of my American paperbacks (I have a bunch of mass market, too). I like the bigger ones because you’re less likely to break the spine with them, but I like how compact and firm the smaller versions are. sigh Can’t win. 😜

          Liked by 1 person

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