Hardcover VS Paper Cover Books


Most people are in a dilemma when they go out to buy or order a book online. With most books published today you have a choice to buy either hardcover or paper cover (paperback) book. Which one to choose seems a completely personal choice but there are some practical things that make one better over the other and it all depends on situation where will book be read, where it will be stored, etc.

Paper cover books are usually a low cost format books with cheap paper and like its name suggest, book cover is made of cheaper materials like paper or paperboard. Sometimes they are called an airport novels. Usually a paper cover book is only bound together using glue and no stitches or staples are used. Recycled paper is used in recent years instead of new paper. They are in most cases significantly less expensive than hardcover books and that is the main advantage of paperback books. Due to the current turbulent economic times paperback books are becoming more popular and have greater market share than hardback books. Paper cover books appeared in the 19th century when even some originals were published as paperback and only later the publishers decided to put hardback editions on the market.

Paper cover books usually come in non-illustrated format to achieve as low cost of printing and publishing as possible. Since paperback books are lighter and usually smaller than hardback books they are easier to carry around. Mass produced novels are sometimes exclusively printed only in paper cover format. Because these books are mass printed and low quality and recycled paper is used and there are no illustration the price is very low and affordable to most people.


Hardcover books on the other hand are more expensive. Mainly because of the higher costs of production where quality acid free paper is used and binding technology is different, more demanding using stitches and staples. The protective cover is usually made from cardboard that is covered with cloth, leather or heavy paper. Hardcover books are usually released first, before paperback editions are published. This is pure marketing strategy of book publishing companies since profits and margins are higher due to the significantly higher prices in the bookstores. Sometimes these hardcover books are only reserved for successful, proven authors. Publishers try to give the hardcover editions an artistic touch. Front and back are usually illustrated with greater details than paperback versions. Artistic touch can sometimes be seen in the content with numerous illustrations from well known artists. Academic books are almost exclusively published in hardcover format.

One of the main advantages of a hardcover book is its durability due to thicker covers and also due to better quality paper and ink used. Most people will also say that hardcover books just look better than paperback editions and among those are the ones that will only buy hardcover version.