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!