Hardcover v Paperback

Hardcover or paperback? Seems like everyone has a preference.

Aesthetically speaking, I love hardcover. The hardcover itself is simple and classic while the dust jacket adds some artistic appeal and personality. I also think hardcovers have the most lasting potential. It’s a lot harder to bang up the corners of a hardcover than it is a paperback. Of course, any book will last if you take care of it, and even a hardcover is not invincible. The downside, these are the most expensive, and heavy if you move.

Trade paperbacks, the smaller, lighter, more affordable version. Everyone loves a nice, floppy paperback. There’s no dust jacket to misplace or tear. They’re also the most comfortable to hold in your hands and read. Books are for reading after all, and I would argue that trade paperbacks are the best for reading. Sometimes they even get prettier cover designs than the same book in hardcover. Except for the new ones with covers that are shorter than the actual book. Who made that a thing?

Let’s not forget about the even smaller, lighter, more affordable version of paperback, the mass market paperback. Also called a ‘pocket book’, these are definitely the most portable and affordable of the bunch. The format is smaller, the font is smaller, and any unnecessary extras have probably been removed. These are my least favorite, although I do own a fair amount of them. Those short, thick spines are not the most ideal for comfortably holding the book open.

I like each of the formats for different reasons, and I’m not entirely opposed to any of them. The most important part is, of course, the story inside.

What’s your favorite format?