Differences between hardcover and paperback books
Here are 8 differences between hardcover and paperback books that every reader should know.
1. Hardcover is more expensive than paperback
While comparing paperback vs hardcover, this difference seems obvious. In most cases, paperbacks are cheaper than hardcovers. I say ‘most cases’ because sometimes you may actually see a paperback version more expensive than hardcover.
It is possible under some situations like when the publisher of the book has printed way too many hardcover books and are not selling as expected, or when hardcover and paperback are printed by two different publishers and the cost for the hardcover publisher was somehow less than the paperback publisher, or even maybe when they are in different editions or in different languages.
But this is very rare and we have hardcover books more expensive due to its high production cost.
2. Hardcover books have a better paper and print quality
Hardcover books have a comparatively high quality of paper. They mostly use acid-free papers which address the problem of preserving the paper from damaging. Furthermore, their pages are thicker and have a premium look.
The font is also bigger in hardcover books which makes it easier for the eyes to read. On the other hand, paperback books are made of lesser quality paper like newsprint paper that is easily damaged.
3. Hardcover books have thick and rigid book covers
Hardcover books have a hard and thick protective cover and that is why they are termed as hardcover.
Apart from that, they may also have a soft dust jacket. This dust jacket, as the name suggests, protects the book from dust and keeps the thick cover clean. But paperback books only have soft covers without any dust jacket.
4. Hardcover books are heavier than paperback
Since the hardcover books have thicker pages and covers, they tend to be heavy. On the other hand, the pages and covers of paperback books are mostly thinner and so these books are lighter.
And for this reason, paperback books are easy to hold and comfortable to read while hardbacks can be uncomfortable to handle as it becomes difficult to hold it for a long time without straining your hands.
5. Books are first published in hardcovers followed by paperbacks
The first edition or the first release of a book is usually done in hardcover and then the paperbacks are published. So if you are a big fan of an author and can’t wait to read any of his books, then you will probably have to buy the book in hardcover even if it is too expensive for you!
Once the hardcover version of the book is released, it can take even more than a year or two for the paperback version to get published. So, it’s totally up to you – whether you want to wait for that long, or just buy it at the higher price.
6. Paperback books are less durable as compared to hardcover books
One of the major advantages of hardcover books over paperback is its durability. Paperback books can easily get damaged if not handled properly. The corners of the book get bent, pages get warped and in many cases, they even come out, the spine of the book gets broken, or even the covers are torn.
But with hardcovers, these vulnerabilities are highly minimized. Its hard protective cover and thick pages can even resist rough handling to great extent. So if it’s durability that you are looking for, you should definitely go for hardcover books!
7. Hardcover books have larger dimensions than paperback books
Another difference between hardcover and paperback books can be seen in their sizes. They come with different standard sizes. Hardcovers are generally larger and their sizes do not vary much with respect to other books. For this reason, they can be very neatly arranged together with other hardcover books in the bookshelves.
But with paperback versions, the book-size is smaller and has more variations. You can refer to this article to know more about standard book sizes and see the size comparison of paperback vs hardcover.
8. Paperback books are more flexible and easy to carry
Well, if you are traveling somewhere and you want to carry some books with you, then it would not be very convenient to take hardcover books. Because of its bigger size, it occupies more space in your bag. Moreover, they are heavy and stiff. It becomes some extra load to carry them.
But paperback books are light and flexible. And they take much lesser space in the bags. So carrying paperback books become more convenient.
So, these were the 8 differences between hardcover and paperback books. If you have more differences to share from your experience, please do so in the comment section below. We would love to know them.