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Hardback or Paperback – Which do YOU like best?


The other night a mini discussion on Twitter about whether we prefer hardbacks or paperbacks, and I was hugely outvoted at 3-1 to the paperback lovers!

But surely I’m not the only one who loves Hardbacks? Really? I can see why paperbacks are appealing; They’re cheaper (although I’m noticing HB’s are often sold half price on release now and only a couple of pound dearer than a paperback), easier to carry about and a bit easier to curl up in bed with. But really that isn’t enough for me.

To me, the sheer aesthetics of a hardback wins for me, they just look so much better! A beautiful hardback feels extremely special and I just don’t think you get that with a paperback. I remember as a child receiving a set of books including Alice In Wonderland, The Secret Garden and What Katy Did as a gift from my Grandmother. They were black leather bound hardbacks with gold embossing and were just stunning. They still are because 20 years later I STILL have them, and apart from an accident with one of them (unsurprisingly my favourite and most read)) they are just as beautiful, ready to pass on to my daughter. A paperback just wouldn’t have lasted like that.

An argument against hardbacks is the weight, but I love the feeling of a chunky heavy book! Ok, I may be odd but I just like the substantial-ness of them. There is something luxurious and exciting about a hardback. I’m obssessive about taking care of my books, but it’s inevitable that eventually a much loved paperback will become tatty and creased. Take the dust jacket off while reading and my hardbacks remain pristine.

Of course I don’t buy every book in hardback (not every book is published in hardback for a start!), in fact probably only 25% of books I own are. The ones I do own though are among my favourites and the excitement at buying or being given a stunning HB never lessens. I still want to hold it, stroke it and just stare at it (maybe I just need help?)


So, while I totally get the benefits of a paperback, I’d go for hardback where I could, a lot of the time, and it would be very rare I’d wait for a paperback of a book I wanted to read. But am I alone? Do you prefer hardback or paperback? Leave a comment and let me know!

17 thoughts on “Hardback or Paperback – Which do YOU like best?”

  1. Although you already know I prefer paperbacks, I have been looking at my copy of Sisters Red and realising how pretty it is. This wouldnt be the same in PB!

    The same goes for Hush Hush. I have the HB and having seen the PB, I'm glad I do.

    I guess for me it depends on how pretty the covers are lol.

    Linz xx

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  2. I totally agree with the appeal of the hardcover books (I love how they look and feel) but I unlike you I prefer paperback. Though, if I really want to read a book- I will not wait for the paperback, I'll just buy the hardcover.

    Great post and topic!

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  3. I'm pretty cheap so paperbacks is the way for me. Hardcovers are okay though I can't stand reading the books with the jackets on so I always take them off and then I lose them and then I get annoyed so I think it's safer for my family if I just read paperbacks. =P

    Great blog you've got here. I love your header, I see a lot of books that I either love or am dying to read!

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  4. I usually buy books I love in hardback, if they're available. They're more likely to stand the test of time than a paperback. I also think they look better.

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  5. Hardback here! I don't really like paperback especially mass market bound. CREASED SPINES / SLIGHT UPLIFT OF COVER = anger + donation to pick up a new copy of the book in HB! Plus hardbacks look way better on the bookshelf πŸ™‚

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  6. I prefer hardbacks, and when I have the money I try to purchase the hardbacks. Even though they're more expensive if the book sounds good and I'm willing to shell out the money then that's my choice. Even if I end up not liking the book.

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  7. I prefer hardbacks, and when I have the money I try to purchase the hardbacks. Even though they're more expensive if the book sounds good and I'm willing to shell out the money then that's my choice. Even if I end up not liking the book.

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  8. @Lyndsey They are both gorgous books, two of my favourites too.

    @Morgan I'm impatient too, I won't wait wait for the paperback! Glad you like the post!

    @Rowena that's true, although recently the hardbacks I've bought have been as cheap as a paperback, the last one I didn't realise was HB until it arrived…was a lovely surprise though!

    @Mollie @dakota @kimscarecrow Yay! Glad some agree with me!

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  9. I think hardbooks look much prettier on a bookshelf and if there were any books that I wanted to keep (like my Harry Potter ones) I'd get them in HB, but generally I prefer paperback for reading them – they're much easier to hold!

    BTW – never heard anything back from you about your guest post?

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  10. I used to prefer Paperbacks for their ease, because I could throw them in my purse and go, whip them out anywhere and read. But now that I'm not on the go as much (ok, with two young kids very much on the go but I rarely get time to read then!) I much prefer hardcovers. I still like to have some paperbacks though so I can take them with me when I'm on the go without the kids.

    One thing that I love about a hardcover book is that it means I have/had it when it was brand new!

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  11. I prefer paperbacks because I like that my books look used and the cover is printed into the binding. I try not to buy any hardbacks at all unless I have the first in a series in HB etc., or else I would be broke by now πŸ™‚

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  12. Hardcover for books that one is intending keeping. I love the old classic leather bound books of days gone by.
    For my purposes nowadays paperbacks are a must as I use Bookcrossing and Bookmooch all the time to keep myself and my husband supplied with reading material here in Italy. That means postage which is becoming more and more expensive!

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  13. I stick with paperbacks mainly for cost and space saving reasons – I only have a small amount of space for books and hardbacks are slighly larger so I could fit less books in.

    But I do agree about the covers, the few hardbook books I own do look better than their paperback equivilants.

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  14. I'm definitely a hardcover fan. If you know where to look, you can get HCs for just as low a price as PBs. Considering I can rarely afford to buy books at all, this comes in real handy. Plus they hold up better over the course of time and wear and sometimes even look better. Plus since I'm the kind of girl who holds onto her books, HCs are more practical. However I do still have a lot of paperbacks as well. I just prefer HC.

    Great post. πŸ˜€

    ~Briana

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