Hardcovers or Paperbacks?

This article is by a guest writer under the pseudonym Alanah Sugar.

One’s too fragile, and the other isn’t flexible. We won’t even begin with eBooks, which can be unreliable — Wi-Fi problems — and damage your eyesight. So of all three, which one’s the best?


Let’s be honest. Paperbacks are great — for the most part. There’s the undeniable fact that the longevity of a paperback is dismal, and that paperbacks are notorious for loose binding. They’re cheaper, but for an unsaid cost: that of the book’s quality, and in turn, the quality of the reading process. A book’s life is not over when you’ve finished reading it. It retires onto your shelf, and for aesthetic purposes, battered paperbacks seldom make a positive impression on a viewer’s eye.


As for hardcovers, it’s rare to find any that aren’t well-designed. Every cover a masterpiece, every page a jeweled canvas. If you find a good quality hardcover, that’s a book that will last you years — if. Hardcovers are notorious for inflexibility, uncomfortable grip, and, ultimately, destructive binding and annoyingly slippery jackets. The problem with hardcovers is that it’s practically impossible to distinguish a good-quality book from a second-hand one, and unless the outer jacket or the corners are worn down, easy distinctions are scarce.

Final Note

You make what you will with this information, but in our opinion, between paperbacks, eBooks, and hardcovers, we prioritize quality of reading over longevity — because does it matter how long a book lives if you despise reading it? That being said, we’re compelled to give preference to paperbacks — not only because they’re cheaper, but also because of the little things, like smelling the pages, curling (for those already-battered books) the pages in an old-newspaper style, and slipping it into our bags in places hardcovers wouldn’t even half-fit. The price, the quality, the experiences — that’s what makes paperback books top all the others.

261 thoughts on “Hardcovers or Paperbacks?”

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