Book Pet Peeves #6: Hardcover vs Paperback

August 7, 2014     erinbook     Feature, Pet Peeves

It’s time for another book pet peeve. Today I want to cover a popular debate, that being the argument between hardcover and paperback books.

Hardcover Pros:

Hardcovers are sturdier. They don’t get those awful creases in their spines like paperbacks do if you aren’t careful. Hardcovers (for the most part) only come in two sizes, tall and standard, making it easier to keep a uniform book size.

Hardcover Cons:

Hardcovers are expensive. They also take up more room on the shelves than paperback books.

Paperback Pros:

Paperbacks are much cheaper, smaller, and much more portable.

Paperback Cons:

Those horrible creases on the spines, especially on used and mass market paperback books. Paperbacks are much less uniform about size, making shelves look a mess. They aren’t very sturdy and will not last the way a hardcover will.

Personal Preference:

If price wasn’t an object, I would always choose hardcover. Unfortunately I can’t afford that so my shelves are a mix. Usually I’ll buy a book in whatever format I can find it on sale or used. From there I’ll keep my eye out for a discounted hardcover (or if I have more of the books in a series in paperback, I’ll try to replace the outnumbered hardcovers with paperback versions) because I’m a bit of a nut about my series being all in the same format.

Also, mass market paperbacks are annoying, always. They make it so difficult to keep the spine in decent condition. If I’m given a choice between regular or mass market paperbacks I will always choose regular (unless it’s Stephen King, all of my King books are in mass market form for some reason).

This is a really complicated pet peeve for me because there are so many exceptions. This one is very closely related to the book size peeve (which, if you haven’t read, go do that and this will make much more sense) but it also has to do with the quality and durability of the books. I want my books to last a very long time and for that to happen they need to be well made and kept in good condition.

What are some of your book pet peeves? Tell me in the comments.

Keep Reading!

6 responses to “Book Pet Peeves #6: Hardcover vs Paperback

  1. C T

    Hardcovers almost exclusively unless I receive an ARC. I like the look, the lack of a visible cracked spine, and usually the boards keep the page edges clean. I also wrap my dustjackets in mylar covers and read the book without the jackets so they stay pristine and look the best on my shelf.

    I have gone so far as to stop reading an author or series because all of a sudden the series goes into paperback only ie Will Adams and Drew Karpyshyn's Chaos Born series.

    • Wow, you really take care of your books, that's awesome! I don't think I've ever stopped reading an author because of paperback exclusives but I can see why some people would.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.