Hardcover vs Paperback – Which Is Best?

You’ve come across hardcover and paperback books at a bookstore and probably wondered why there are two types of book.

You have probably also have wondered what the difference is between the two. The price is not the only difference. The price for hardcover books can exceed the cost of paperback copies.
In this article, we’ll look at hardcover vs paperback books and see what the differences are, along with the pros and cons of both.

What’s a hardcover book and what is it?

A hardcover (or hardback) book comes with a heavy protective cover.
Dust-jackets are usually added to hardcovers. This dust jacket is the same paper thing you find on hardcovers. But, it can also be leather for more costly books.
Publishers To protect your book over the long term, design a hardcover. They do not wear as quickly as paperback books and don’t get damaged as easily.
A hardcover book is more efficient in printing, while the paper quality is generally better. Hardcover books’ paper is durable, and can last for a very long time.
That is why you’ll find that many collectors editions are hardcovers.
Along with collector editions, you’ll find that reference guides are hardcover too.
You’ll probably find, depending on the author, that they only publish new books in hardcover for initial release.
This strategy is to make sure that the first purchases are in hardcover as they’re more profitable for publishers.
Check out this article that compares paperbacks and hardcover books

What exactly is a paperback books?

Covers for paperback books can be made of cardboard or thin paper. A glue is used to hold the pages together.

You’ll find that paperback books are far cheaper to produce than hardcovers.

Paperbacks are often printed in huge quantities by publishers.

This mass-production version usually comes after the book’s hardcover release and the publisher will market it towards a wider audience.

Due to the lower production costs, paperbacks can be lighter than other products and are an excellent choice for travelers.

A lot of new writers will also start with a paperback, as they don’t have the established audience to warrant a hardcover release.

Many print-on-demand services print in paperback too, making it incredibly popular for self-publishers.

book lot on metal basket

How do you distinguish between paperback and hardcover books?

Here are the key differences between paperback and hardcover books.

  • Hardcover books tend to be much more expensive.
  • Paperback books weigh less and are easier to transport
  • To last, they print hardcover books
  • Print quality is better in hardcover
  • Collector’s items: Hardcover books
  • Traveling with paperbacks is better

Books in hardcover: The pros and the cons

The pros and cons of hardcover

  • Beautiful to behold

  • Pages don’t get damaged as easily

  • More durable

  • There is rarely a need to bookmark.

  • This is a great gift idea or for collectors.

The cons of hardcover

  • Heavy… you can’t take more than one on a trip with you

  • It is also more expensive. Sometimes twice as much or even triple the cost

The pros and cons of paperback books

The pros and cons of paperback

  • It is usually very affordable to purchase

  • Lighter and easier to take with you

  • You are more likely to get the title that you desire

Con’s of paperback books

  • These pages can be easily torn or broken.

  • Covers can get damaged

person holding Delight your Customer book

Most Frequently Asked Questions

These are the most frequently asked questions about comparing paperback and hardcover books.

Are paperbacks better than hardcover?

It really depends on what you’re after in a book.

You can read paperbacks if you’re looking for something quick or cheaper than hardcover.

Paperbacks are also better if you’re traveling because hardcovers are more rigid and a lot heavier.

If you’re looking for a book to keep long-term though, then hardcover books are better.

Why is the price of hardcover books so high?

Hardcover books are more expensive than paperback books because they’re significantly better quality.

A cover is a thicker board designed to protect your book over time. The paper quality is higher and printing is also better.

Why do people buy hardcover books?

Hardcover books can be expensive and are best for major collectors.

When you spend the extra money for the hardcover, you’re doing so knowing that the book will last long-term.

When a book by a popular author is first released, they’ll come out as a hardcover first to profit from the bigger fans and those giving the book as a gift.

Do hardcover books really make a difference?

Hardcover books are a good choice for those who want to keep their book in great condition.

However, if you just want to read the book and that’s it, you should look to buy the paperback, as it is better value for money.

Is a paperback version of a book available?

The paperback version of a book usually comes out after its hardcover edition.

The paperback release is to bank on a book’s growing market by offering it to a wider audience.

So many people have the option to purchase paperback books, they are often mass-distributed.

Is it going to be long before there is a paperback version of a book?

The book will determine the waiting period between a hardcover and paperback initial release.

Before releasing mass-published paperbacks, publishers want to maximize their profits from hardcover.

Some books will publish the paperback six to twelve months after their original release. Others will take one year.

Final thoughts

We hope you now understand the difference between hardcover and paperback books.

The question of which is better between paperback and hardcover is more a question of why you’re buying a book.

Paperbacks are great for quick reading or for traveling.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a book to last, collect, or give as a gift, then you’ll get more benefit from a hardcover.