Hardcover and Paperback: Which is Best?

You may have seen the paperback and hardcover in bookstores. And you may have also come across ebooks online. No doubt, you will have thought, why are there three kinds of books? Not to mention, if you’re an avid reader, you may have developed a liking to one or two of these types of books. Well, every man to themselves. 


The difference between hardcover and paperback or paperback and ebook is quite simple. Aside from their price and form, several things differ in paperback and hardcover. At the same time, hardcover and ebook. That said, in this post, we’ll begin by discussing the obvious difference between hardcover and paperback. Furthermore, we’ll highlight their pros and cons. 


What are Ebooks?

Ebooks as we all know are electronic books that are available in digital form to be read on a computer, tablet, MacBook, phone, you name it. Given it has a screen and it’s digital, you can read ebooks on it. Ebooks have a lot of benefits; they are easily accessible, easily shareable, portable, and lightweight. 


They don’t also have old books smell and are easy to carry around. Not to mention, they’re perfect for one-hand reading. All you have to do is just scroll or swipe. Another good thing about ebooks is, they’re simple to navigate. You don’t have to mark pages to search for highlighted or specific words. This is one advantage of an ebook that places it above paperback and hardcover.


It further allows you to customize the book to suit you. For example, you can change the line spacing, font, and color. Plus, some ebooks have read-along features which are helpful for people with a learning disability or visual impairment. In fact, they’re 21st-century books. Most ebooks are in form or PDFs, ePub, and sometimes Word documents. Finally, you can’t lose them except, if you don’t save them on your cloud of course. This type of book is what many indie authors publish as their first few books.
Type of ebooks

Ebooks Pros

  • Easy to navigate.
  • They’re very accessible.
  • They’re a cheap option for indie authors who are looking to publish books.
  • Helpful for individuals with visual impairment or learning disabilities.


  • Susceptible to online piracy.

What is a Paperback Book?


Now come to the world of books where readers can touch the pages, flip through the pages and feel the amazing smell of books that makes them nostalgic. The paperback also offers you fun ways to bookmark your novels.

To be honest, it took me a while to know the difference between paperbacks and hardbacks. I thought my harlequin novels were also hardbacks but not just with hard cardboard backs. I’m certain others do not know the difference but not to worry, I got you covered.

Paperbacks cover are made from thin cardboard or paper. Most times, their front and back pages are made of papers that are slightly thicker than the normal book pages. By the side, it has a glue that holds all the pages together. If you’ve come across a novel that’s half torn, you may have noticed this glue. Compared to hardcovers, paperbacks are cheap.

I remember purchasing harlequin novels for 10 cents. Although the price must have gone up, the fact remains, it’s an affordable type of book. Another difference between paperback and hardcover is publishing. Most publishers print large copies of paperbacks this is why they’re easily accessible. 

Mass-producing paperbacks aim to sell them to a larger audience. Many authors sell paperbacks after they release the hardcover edition. Now, if you’re left wondering why your novel is without a front or back cover at this moment that’s because it’s a paperback. They are less durable. But, they’re your best option if you love reading on the go.
Harlequin paperback

Paperback Pro

  • It’s cheap.
  • It offers you a variety of books.
  • You’re likely to find any book in this form.
  • Very portable and light.


  • The books are less durable 
  • The print can get damaged by water and other elements. 


What is a Hardcover Book?

If you’ve been reading the Harry Potter collection then you’ve been reading hardbacks. Hardcovers are books with a thick protective cover. Most often they’re sold alongside dust jackets. Dusk jackets are those light papers that are fixed over the main cover of a book. Very expensive books may have leather jackets instead. They are expensive. Authors and publishers design hardcovers to ensure the book’s durability. 


Another significant difference between hardcover and paperback is quality. This is why you’ll find many well-known authors publishing their editions as covers. While most authors may publish their first release as hardcovers. A few publish all in this version. 


The purpose of hardcovers is to ensure that authors make money from the first purchase of their book. Aside from that, hardcovers are the best type of book to give people. Presently, only a few people still read hardcovers. Why? Well, hardcovers are quite expensive these days and most people who purchase them, do so for aesthetics.
Harry Potter Hardcover Collection

Hardcover Pros

  • Aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
  • Super durable.
  • It doesn’t require a bookmark.
  • Excellent as a gift.


  • It’s very expensive. Sometimes, it’s three or four times the price of a paperback.
  • It’s not suitable to carry on long journeys.

The Difference Between Hardcover and Paperback 

Here are some vital differences between hardcover and paperback books.


  • Hardcovers are more durable.
  • Paperbacks are portable and suitable for traveling, unlike heavy and bulky hardcovers.
  • Hardcovers also have excellent print quality.
  • Paperbacks are cheaper than Hardcovers.
  • Paperbacks offer self-published authors more benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions about Paperback and Hardcover 

What type of book is best for self-published authors?

Perhaps you’re new to writing and you’re confused about whether to print hardcover or paperback? Well, I strongly suggest you choose paperbacks. This version is an excellent way to build an audience through your books. As we all know, not so many people will be willing to spend much on a hardcover. Talk less of a hardcover made by a new author they’re trying out for the first time.

Are Ebooks Worth it?

Well, I’ve seen posts where people do not consider ebooks as real books. Who are we kidding? Ebooks are very real. The only difference between ebooks and paperbacks is that it’s in 2D. You can’t touch or smell them. But, you can definitely see them. Besides, ebooks are now popular among book readers. Particularly, teenagers and youths. 


Although an ebook may never match up to reading an actual book, many would still pick it over paperbacks. The reason is its accessibility. I tried ordering a book on Amazon recently and I was to get it two weeks after. Two weeks?? I’d rather read the ebook or pick another book. 

Are Paperbacks better than Hardcovers?

Well, it depends on what you want in a book. If you’re looking for quality, durability and of course aesthetics, hardcovers are the best. Generally, book collectors and fans buy hardcovers. However, if you want a cheap alternative to just have a fast read, then paperbacks are better than hardcovers.

Why is the hardcover book expensive?

The forces of demand and supply come into play here. Most book collectors are aristocrats who need hardcovers to display in their homes and shelves. Since hardcovers are not mass-published, these individuals will pay any amount to purchase them. As a result of this, there’s a higher demand and lower supply for it. This will no doubt lead to an increase in the price of the few available hardcovers. 

What type of book will be popular in 2021?

Well, the books that may take over the publishing market may either be ebook or paperbacks but certainly not hardcovers. Presently, many hardcovers books are now made into paperbacks because they’re so heavy and uncomfortable to hold up for long. 


I bet I’m not the only one who has experienced a book falling over my face while reading it. Now imagine if it’s a hardback. Oops! Plus most authors make their money from ebooks. Go on amazon and 90% of the books there are ebooks on kindle. But lest I forget ebooks never make it to the local library which is a major drawback. 


Final Word 

Hopefully, this post helps you understand the difference between hardcover and paperback. The answer to which is better between paperback and hardcover solely depends on you. The choice is yours to make. If you want a quick romance read, then opt for paperbacks. On the other hand, if you want to stack your shelves, choose hardcovers. 


And if you still can’t settle for any, why not read the ebook. Whatever choice you make, ensure it’s a book you find comfortable. The point is you’re reading a book. Now I can’t deny the fact that everyone has a different taste for books but basically, it all boils down to reading a good book and relieving the moment right?😌


  1. I love hardbacks they give special type of feeling that paperback and ebooks don’t, that creak of cardboard the thickness of it’s spine or maybe it’s because my first book was The Hobbit in hardbacks
    Funny enough one of the sideplots of Lost in Space(tv) was the fact that libraries went extinct sometime in 21st century
    Prophecy perhaps?

    • Yes maybe it was a prophecy because I’m sure in 10 years to come the ebooks we read now won’t be the same.
      Thinking about it, 90% of the hardbacks I came across were from the libraries.
      It’s so nice to know you love hardbacks and yeah you’re right they give a special type of feeling paperbacks and ebooks can’t. That’s true.

  2. I love both paperbacks and hard backs. But just like you wrote, paperbacks are not durable. My novels for instance (God bless their souls wherever they may be).
    Talking of hardbacks. Their volumes make it more interesting and eye catching. I’d recommend Dawn by Veronica……. (I’ve forgotten the author’s name). The novel is very intriguing.
    Now ebooks, the platform is not really convenient for me because of my eyes. My eyes burn when they stare at a screen for too long. It was very frustrating when my favorite bookstore closed, I mean, it was the only bookstore in my town. I’ve searched frantically for another up to no avail.
    I gave up and resorted to ebooks, I must say I really enjoy it but the way I pore over paperbacks and hardbacks is not the same with ebooks.


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