Musing Mondays: Hardbacks vs Paperbacks

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Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted at The Purple Booker which asks you to answer either the random question or one of the following prompts:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

This week’s random question: What is your preferred reading format?

I definitely prefer physical books over e-readers. Some e-readers give me headaches but that’s not the only reason I prefer actual books. There’s so many different things about physical books that I love. If I used an e-reader all the time I would miss the smell of books, old ones and new ones, I’d miss how the pages feel between my fingers, I’d miss touching embossed covers or clothbound books. Also, I wouldn’t even own some of my books since they’re from the mid-1800s. You can’t replicate those books on an e-reader.

The only time I find digital editions of books to be useful is when I’m studying because searching for quotes is so much easier. However, sometimes e-books don’t have page numbers on them so I still end up searching through my physical copy to find the quote once I’ve narrowed it down to a certain chapter.

So, it’s obvious that I prefer physical books over e-books but there’s also a choice between paperbacks and hardbacks. There are pros and cons to both formats and I almost love them equally. I’ll just list some of the pros and cons of paperback books below so that you can see my thought process:

Pros of paperbacks include: More portable than hardbacks because they’re smaller and lighter in weight, cheaper than hardbacks.

Cons of paperbacks include: Very flimsy sometimes, usually come out months after the hardback edition which means you have to wait longer.

Hardbacks are generally more expensive (not always) but they last longer too. I’ve had several paperbacks fall apart after I’ve read them too many times and that just doesn’t happen with hardback books. However, I wouldn’t take a hardback on a train journey because they’re too large and too heavy (usually) so paperbacks are great to carry around with me.

The truth is, I love buying hardback editions because they’re so pretty but I mainly buy them because they come out before the paperback and they’re sturdier. However, most of the books on my shelves are paperbacks because I’m not made of money.

Which format do you prefer when you’re reading?


13 thoughts on “Musing Mondays: Hardbacks vs Paperbacks

  1. I prefer to read on my e-reader because I can change the font, read in the dark and my hands don’t hurt as much from holding it. I like the way hardbacks look on my shelf, but I don’t want to pay hardback prices, so I would purchase a paperback first.


    1. I find that e-readers work really well for some people but not well for others. They just give me a headache (and occasionally a migraine) so I try to avoid them 🙂 Hardback prices are sometimes ridiculous but I do buy them when they’re on offer online or in a shop.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I definitely prefer printed books (not sure I could choose between paperback and hardback though!), but ebooks saved my life during my degree when I needed to get hold of an inexpensive translation of a foreign text quickly and easily!


    1. I always preferred physical books for my degree but I know lots of people who used ebooks. I did prefer ebook versions of my theory books though because I hated carrying them around with me. So heavy.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I prefer physical as well and always paperbacks over hardcovers because they make for easier reading. But, as you say, the one thing that does bother me when it comes to paperbacks is that they come our later. Sometimes even a year after the fact ;P
    Luckily my TBR is so big right now that I have a few years to catch up on so I’ll only be ready for new releases in a year’s time 😉


  4. I have a ton of e-books on my Kindle, but I don’t read them very often due to vision problems and the horrible headaches I get from them. I love physical books (plus you can’t go wrong with the smell of books, haha). I usually opt for hardcover in place of paperback, because I have two little ones who tend to bend covers or spill stuff on them.


    1. Hardback books are definitely more durable around little ones than paperbacks. I can understand why you choose to buy them instead. But I get headaches from e-readers too so I feel your pain.


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