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The Difference: Hardcover VS Paperback Books

by Logan

Hardcover and paperbacks are two kinds of books and have different bookbinding processes.

A hardcover is also known as a hardback and hardbound, on the other hand, a paperback is also known as a softback and softcover.

A paperback consists of either a soft card or a thick paper cover over the pages, it’s a light covering, but prone to folding, and bending and can wrinkle with use.

Whereas, hardcover has a thick and rigid covering over the pages, this kind of covering protects the pages and makes the book durable as well as usable for a long time. Often, a hardcover book comes with a dust jacket, also known as a slip-on jacket, book jacket, dust wrapper, and dust cover, it’s for the protection of books from dust and other wear ad tear. Some hardcover books are made durable by making the book covering from leather or calfskin. Moreover, the spine of the hardcover book has a special covering.

Hardcover books are expensive as the materials and process cost more. Hardcover books consist of acid-free paper and this kind of paper that preserves the ink for a long time, thus they’re ideal for use and are hard to find. Paperbacks, on the other hand, consist of cheap paper, often newsprint, thus they’re cheaper. They require lower production costs and are readily made available. Moreover, hardcover books have a history, while paperback books came in the modern period.

a bunch of books
Hardcovers are usually more expensive.

Here is a table for all the differences between hardcover and paperback novels.

HardcoverPaperback
Covering of hardcover books is created with thick and rigid covers that are made of cardboardCovering of paperbacks books is made with thick paper which are soft, bendable covers
Hardcover books are created with high-grade of materialsPaperback books are created with a lesser degree of quality
Hardcover books made with acid-free paperPaperback books are made with cheap paper, like newsprint
The number of pages in hardcover books is higher because of its larger printPaperback books lesser number of pages because of small page sizes and smaller font sizes
Hardcover books are specifically designed for long-term use as well as storagePaperback books last for a short time
Hardcover books are quite durable and aren’t easily damaged and it’s rare, bulky, and heavyPaperbacks are light and small, and more readily available as well as portable
Hardcover books are expensive as they’re limited edition booksPaperbacks are cheaper because of their lower production costs
Hardcover books are held together by using glue, stitches, and often staplesPaperbacks are held together by using glue
Hardcover books said to have a longer historyPaperbacks books came in the modern period
Hardcover vs Paperback

Here is a video to learn more about hardcover books and paperback books.

Paperbacks or Hardcovers?

Keep reading to know more.

Is it better to buy hardcover or paperback?

It depends on every person. If one just wants to read and doesn’t collect them, then paperback is definitely a better option. However, if one collects them and reads them again and again, then hardcover is the best option. Basically hardcover books can last for a long time, while paperback books may last for a certain amount of time.

There is more to it than just which binding one should get, because both have their pros and cons.

Paperback books are better if you’re travelling as it is prone to bending, thus can fit in any bag, while hardcover is rigid and heavier, therefore it may not be the best option.

Hardcover are designed to last for a long time, the structure and materials that are used ensures the protection as well as durability. Paperback lasts for a short time as the materials as well as the structure is of average quality.

The papers of hardcover books are stitched before being glued, stapled, or sewn to the spine of the book. While the papers of paperback books are only glued together before being glued to the spine.

Is it worth buying hardcover books?

a bunch of leather books
Hardcovers are made with quality materials.

Although, hardcover books are slightly expensive, the material is worth every penny. Hardcover books require expensive materials as they are specifically made to last for a long time.

Moreover, papers of hardcover book are of great quality which preserves ink for a longer time, the papers are stitched together before they are glued, stapled, or sewn to the spine of the book.

However, hardcover books are rare as they are expensive, but if a book gets popular in the paperback binding then publishers are more likely to publish those books in hardcover binding as well.

Moreover, hardcover books look antique and has a vibe to them which makes them a beautiful piece for decorating.

What is the point of hardcover books?

The hardcover is a smybol of quality and a demonstration of intent on behalf of the publisher as it conveys an idea to the booksellers and reviewers that this is a book worth paying attention to.

In fact, it’s believed that, some literary editors review fiction on its first publication, only if it’s published in hardcover binding.

Hardcover books cost more compared to paperback books, because of many reasons, thus most publishers publish their book first in paperback binding in order to avoid any big loss.

Hardcover books are made for long-term, thus they need to be made with higher quality of materials.

Papers of hardcover books are first stitched together before being either glued, stapled, or sewn to the book’s spine. The covering is often made from leather or calfskin.

Why is hardcover more expensive?

a bunch of books
Hardcovers require more effort to make.

Hardcover books are expensive because the materials that are used are expensive. The papers are acid-free and can preserve ink for a long time, moreover the papers are stitched, glued, and sewn in order to avoid any fall out. The covering is often made from leather or calfskin which itself is quite expensive.

Paperback books are more common and are readily available as publishers utilize the paperback editions in order to stretch the profit. While hardcover book is a mark of quality as well as a demonsteration of intent of the publisher. It sends a message that the book is worth your attention.

Hardcover binding is often of academic books, references books, and commercial, as well as bestsellers. Publishers often release hardcover books to show the investment so that they are able to project a much higher return of investment.

Hardcover books are expensive which is why they’re rare, while paperback books are cheaper and are readily available.

To Conclude

books stacked on top of each other
Hardcovers are made to be durable.
  • Hardcover is also known as hardback and hardbound.
  • Paperback is also known as softback and softcover.
  • Paperback covering is made from soft card or a thick paper.
  • Paperback books are prone to folding, bending, and can wrinkle.
  • Hardcover covering is thick and rigid covering.
  • Covering of hardcover books are often made from leather or calfskin.
  • Hardcover books are designed to last for a long time.
  • Hardcover structure and materials ensures the protection and durability.
  • The papers of hardcover books are first stitched together and then glued, stapled, or sewn to the book’s spine.
  • Papers of hardcover books preserve ink for a longer time.
  • Hardcover books are rare, while paperback books are readily available.
  • The hardcover book is a smybol of quality and a demonstration of intent and it sends a message to the people that, this is a book worth paying attention to.
  • Publishers release their books first in paperback binding to avoid any loss.
  • Academic books, references books, commercial books, and bestsellers often have a hardcover.

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