Paperback vs hardcover what is the difference?

What is the difference between a paperback and a hardcover book and what are the pros and cons? That is a question we often hear at Bookspot. That is why we have listed this for you.  

What is a paperback?

Paperback (softcover) is a book with a soft cardboard cover. With paperback books, the pages are glued individually or per bundle in the cover (also called spine) of the book. 

What is a hard cover?

A hardcover (hardback) is a book with a hard cover, usually made of cardboard, but sometimes also with fabric or leather. With hardcover books, the pages per bundle are sewn into the hard cover. To protect the cover, there is often a paper cover folded around the cover.    

What are the benefits of a paperback?

  • – Are relatively cheap compared to hardcover versions
  • – Light and compact, making them easy to carry everywhere and take up less space in the bookcase
  • – Easier to read with one hand because you can fold the cover 

What are the disadvantages of a paperback?

  • – The soft cover makes the book fragile and prone to folds
  • – The spine of the book can break if folded too far
  • – No standard sizes so can be messy in the bookcase 

What are the advantages of a hardcover?

  • – The spine of a hardcover does not break
  • – The hard cover and sewn pages make the book last much longer
  • – The hardcover editions are often finished to a high standard and come with unique cover illustrations
  • – Almost all hardcovers have the same sizes so this looks neat in the bookcase 

What are the disadvantages of a hardcover?

  • – Smaller surcharge compared to paperbacks
  • – Heavier and therefore not always practical to take with you
  • – The paper cover to protect the book gets damaged quickly, so usually you will only put it on the book when the book is in the bookcase