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Closed Discussion Topic > Hardback or Paperback? the quarrel of the ages!

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message 1: by Heather (new)

Heather (hpduck) | 354 comments I was just wondering what everyone prefers, Harback, Trade Paperback, or Mass Market Paperback, and Why???

message 2: by Alice (new)

Alice (aliceg) paperback - can fit more on my bookshelf and they're cheaper. once i've got one type on my bookshelf i want to stick to that type so that it looks a bit more matching! i find hardbacks a bit heavy to hold too. I don't mind getting the larger paperbacks they bring out now but if it's part of a series i have to stick to the same editions throughout the series!

message 3: by Beth (new)

Beth Knight (zazaknittycat) | 52 comments I like Trade Paperback for its portability but I also like hardback, especially for reading at home.

message 4: by Heather (new)

Heather (hpduck) | 354 comments I'm a trade paperback lover myself. They look good, they have nicer paper and type that doesn't run. The spines don't crack as easily and they are still portable enough to go in a purse. I only collect hardbacks in my favorite authors, cause I can't wait for the paperback.

message 5: by Beth (new)

Beth Knight (zazaknittycat) | 52 comments Yes, trade paperbacks are nicer than mass market!

message 6: by Jenny, Group Creator - Honorary Moderator (new)

Jenny (notestothemoon) | 846 comments Okay daft question, what's the diff between trade and mass? I prefer paperbacks to read but then if I have a favourite book I like to have the hardback of it.

message 7: by Cecily (new)

Cecily | 576 comments I think it's a US thing, Jenny.

I've bought a few paperbacks in the US (not sure if trade or mass market) and they were noticeably better quality than UK ones: the paper, the binding, even the layout of text on the page. They flop open better.

I prefer paperbacks because they are more comfortable to hold, are cheaper (so I can buy more of them) and can (usually) fit in my handbag, so I always have a book with me if I get held up somewhere.

message 8: by Alice (new)

Alice (aliceg) I have a book that is an American one and as C F S R says it flops open better and was much easier to read because of it!

message 9: by Heather (new)

Heather (hpduck) | 354 comments for all the folks who aren't in the US -

Mass Market books are the cheapy little ones that are made for massively popular books, romance novels, mysteries, that sort of thing.

TP books are a larger format, often the same size or comparable to the size of a hardback, with much nicer paper and ink than a mass market.

does that explain??

message 10: by Apokripos (new)

Apokripos (apokalypse) Yes it does Heather...Thanks....
I'm a sort of mix kind of book person... specifically if I find a hardback of an author I like and tagged with a reasonable price, I buy it.. the same thing with paperbacks or trade paperbacks...
I guess it's just a matter of what I will find first and if the price is cheap...
I only buy books from secondhand bookstores here in the Philippines...
You'd be surprised just how outrageously priced books here... Maybe with all the shipping and all that makes the price that expensive I guess...

message 11: by Mads (new)

Mads (vaultofstars) If I'm reading a series and have to buy it when it's first published, it's in hardback. Then I need to buy the rest of the series in hardback or it'll annoy me for the rest of my life (unfortunate, I know).

I try to buy hardbacks if it's a book I plan on keeping. They seem to last longer and are more durable, and look quite nice on my bookselves.

If I'm not sure, I buy paperback (though I generally try not to buy a book I haven't read yet). I've been buying Bantam Classics, which is a VERY compact edition, with small margins and small print, and the chapters continue in a roll, instead of each one starting on the same page. This is helpful for massively huge books, because it just compacts everything, and if I have to carry it around it's not such a pain. The first Bantam I read was Great Expectations, which I read for school and had to check out from the library, and at first I hated the small print. Since then I've bought Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Uncle Tom's Cabin and Huck Finn in the same style. I think I like it better, compared to the hardback Barnes & Noble classics edition of Pride and Prejudice, which has a lot of wasted space by large margins and wide spacing between lines, and is a pain to carry.

My only disappointment is when a series doesn't have hardbacks, such as Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series. Or at least I can't find the hardbacks for them, except the book I have from one of the first printing that my mother lent to me (and that I haven't given back). The unfortunate thing about having books in hardbacks, paperbacks and mass market is that new books are generally in hardback and you have to wait a few months for the paperback, or as I mentioned, you can't find the hardback.

Sorry for the ramble.

message 12: by Clarice (new)

Clarice (clariceasquith) | 1 comments I always feel that I have more respect for hardbacks...sounds like I don't have respect for paperbacks, but I do. On the other hand, if something happens to them I am not as upset as I would be, if I knocked a cup of coffee over a hardback copy (but it depends on whether I like it or not).

Gosh, it just occurs to me that there are a whole lot of variables that have to be taken into consideration when answering this question. I didn't realise I had such an involved relationship with my books. :-)

message 13: by Tina (new)

Tina (northernskygal) | 4 comments I am a trade paperback gal myself. I bring my books into work in my already overflowing tote bag so, lugging around a huge (and heavy!) hardback book... meh. Also, I don't really like how... rigid hardback books are. I know that makes them more durable but, I like my book having some flexibility to it. I am not one to read the same book a dozen times (I revisit my favorites, but even then I would say the only get used a handful of times in their lives with me), so trade paperbacks are sturdy enough for me.

message 14: by Jo (new)

Jo (Jo_Wales) | 62 comments I am an avid lover of hardback, although as others have said if it is one that I can't see me wanting to keep (which is almost none as I find it difficult to part with any book!)I would get the paperback. (charity shops are good for these). I have some lovely original hardbacks and they are just beautiful to pick up and handle. So if I can get the hardcopy, that is what I go for. They look so good on the shelves too. Anyone have the Collector's Library hardbacks - small, hardback with gold edging and ribbon bookmark? I picked up a set of Jane Austen's classics from Barnardos for a ridiculous price from this series. They are so lovely, I just want to admire them on the bookshelf.

message 15: by Cecily (new)

Cecily | 576 comments I love the look of a whole wall of book spines - but did you know you can buy wallpaper like that, to save the "bother" of actually having books?!

message 16: by Heather (new)

Heather (hpduck) | 354 comments ugh! Why would anyone want to save the bother of having books? As if it's a bother anyway!

message 17: by Cecily (new)

Cecily | 576 comments Absolutely. If you don't want books, why would you want to look as if you did? Perhaps I should have said that I love having a wall of real book spines. LOL

It reminds me of an anecdote in yesterday's paper. A book reviewer recalled a lengthy conversation with someone in the book industry about a much hyped new book. When he asked if she'd read it, she said "Yes of course - though not personally"!

message 18: by Theweebarrell (new)

Theweebarrell I love the look of hardbacks on my bookcase, but tend to go for paper backs as i swap books and it is cheaper on postage if its a paperback

message 19: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie I always prefer harbacks, but buy paperbacks. Why? Well b/c English libraries are non-existant in Brussels and so I must buy my books! Paperbacks are cheaper and Book Depository is my favorite b/c there is no added shipping cost AND their book price is still lower than Amazon which also adds postage fees. BUT I LOVE HARDBACKS; i HAVE BOOKS EVERYWHERE....... I also write in my books. Books are to be used, not just glorified and saved in mint condition. I think.

message 20: by Afsana (new)

Afsana (afsanaz) I will have to havee alook at book depository keep hearing about it!!

message 21: by John (new)

John I prefer trade paperbacks for reading but I like the look of hardbacks on a book shelf, they look classier. Hardbacks are just too big and heavy to lay in bed and read. I almost knocked myself out falling asleep while reading a thick Wally Lamb book.

message 22: by Stuart (new)

Stuart (asfus) | 86 comments Paperback, as it is cheaper to get books that way. I must admit I never see the point in hardbacks except as a gift....

message 23: by Afsana (new)

Afsana (afsanaz) Stuart wrote: "Paperback, as it is cheaper to get books that way. I must admit I never see the point in hardbacks except as a gift...."

more durable- though only get hardback if they are cheap/special offer an a few of my fav authors because can not wait.

message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

I collect the Discworld Novels and have 2 bookshelves of hardback books - they look lovely - and then I have a range of other hardback books that have either been presents of picked up cheaply.

Sometimes though the online booksellers cut the prices of hardbacks by so much that it is almost the same as the undiscounted price of the paperback.

message 25: by Afsana (new)

Afsana (afsanaz) Henk wrote: "I collect the Discworld Novels and have 2 bookshelves of hardback books - they look lovely - and then I have a range of other hardback books that have either been presents of picked up cheaply.



look at Under the dome. I looked at the price amazon was selling it for and what they will be selling it for in paperback and was only a £1 difference and it was £7+ for the paperback so thought for that big a book best to have hb esp only £1 difference.

I also bought The Girl who Kicked the Hornets nest in hardback for £5 as part of a deal that is cheaper then paperback pre any discounts!!!

message 26: by Erin (new)

Erin | 2 comments the cheapest one available at the time i want the book

message 27: by Valerie (new)

Valerie | 95 comments I prefer hardcover, partly because they are more durable and last longer. And I just love the feel of them. I do buy quite a bit of paperbacks, but that's usually because I haven't read that specific author. If it's something special, or I love the author, I'll go ahead & get the book in hardcover.

message 28: by Becky (new)

Becky (divadog) I also go for what ever is cheapest - this now includes eBooks for me (lots of classics for free, and even new books for $5), and my local used book store where I brought in a bunch of books, and can pick up all sorts of treasures for 25% of the listed price.

message 29: by Butterflycager (new)

Butterflycager I get a lot of my books from the library, and if I have a choice of formats for a book, I decide according to size. If the book is more than 500 pages, I choose hardback because it's easier to hold. If it has fewer than 500 pages, I choose paperback. But when I buy new books, I mostly buy paperback because they're less expensive.

message 30: by Tristram (new)

Tristram (tristram_garong) | 6 comments Does it really matter?

message 31: by Becky (new)

Becky (divadog) Tristram - LOL, not a whit. It's the insides that count...

message 32: by Tristram (new)

Tristram (tristram_garong) | 6 comments Becky - that's right.

If its the price that everyone's so worried about, there's always the BOOKSALE. Where you can buy hardbounds so cheap and paperbacks cheaper :)

message 33: by Amy (new)

Amy (celesi) For me, it really comes down to which format do I buy the first volume in. I've had several series where halfway through, they switched from paperback to hardback releases.

And for that first depends on how much I REALLY want to read it, how much the hardcover is going for, and if I have a coupon/discount for the expensive ones.

message 34: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (nkb992) Definitely paperback. They're cheaper and I find them more enjoyable to read. I just like the feel of them better. If I really want to read a book immediately though I will go for the hardback.

message 35: by Brandy (new)

Brandy S (bseaman02) | 1 comments I guess I will be the odd person out here. I used to love paperbacks due to the portability, but I can't say anything beats my kindle and I haven't bought a paper book since October. However, I've noticed that many of the older books aren't in e-book form so I might have to buy a paperback or two.

message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

Hardcovers look better on my shelf. And I'll buy hardcovers when they are newly released because I cant wait for the paperbacks to come out. But I do prefer paperbacks because they're easier to hold and carry around and if I fall asleep reading it doesn't hurt as much when it falls on my face;-) Even though I already have the hardcover I'll keep those on the shelf and then buy the paperback to read and read again.

message 37: by Hannah (new)

Hannah (hannah_337) | 22 comments My bookshelves look like a nightmare. Its organised chaos. I know where all my books are but no one else could find them. I dont care between hardback and paperback. I tend to buy most of my books from charity shops as I work as a waitress and dont have a lot of money to spare. This way I can but more books than I could if they were brand new. So Hb or PB. I'll buy whatever they have.

message 38: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin (catsbooksandcritters) | 13 comments I like hardbacks because they take more ware and tear if I plan to reread books (which I do most) the problem with that is they can get expensive. So for romance novels (do the even come in hardback?) I buy paperback. Anything else if I can afford them/find them I buy hardback.

message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

Hardbacks are my personal fave but paperbacks are more easy to take care of. I remember the first hardback i bought by the time I got home its cover was ruined!

message 40: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 18, 2011 10:00PM) (new)

message 41: by Tina (new)

Tina (garcia02) I love hardback books but am fine with a trade paperback. I especially like to have the book in hardback if it's a keeper. I try to stay away from small paperbacks because I hate when the edges get worn.

message 42: by [deleted user] (new)

I like paperback books best. besides the fact they're cheaper (I believe in owning every book I ever read and liked) but also because there's just something about a paperback book that appeals to me more than a hardback book. I'm not sure what it is, but I think it's that paperback books are shaped differently (shorter, more squat) and always seem to fit easier in backpacks, bags, hands, etc.

message 43: by Beth (new)

Beth I like paperback books best too, although I don't mind reading hardbacks because a lot of my books are true crime and for some reason a lot of them only appear as hardbacks.

I find paperbacks easier to read in bed or on the bus/train etc too simply because they are lighter. I don't like it when the edges and the spine get creased though.

message 44: by Sam (new)

Sam (ecowitch) | 1998 comments I tend to buy more paperbacks than anything else, although that's more due to the fact that almost all of the books I buy are second-hand. The only time I go out of my way to buy one or the other is when it's part of a series as I like to get the same style throughout. I do find paperbacks more portable though as they tend to be smaller so fit in bags a lot easier.

message 45: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) Hardback, paperback, audiobook, new, used, borrowed, library book, it's all the same to me. I usually borrow from the library, unless they don't have it. If I have to buy it, I circulate it to friends or to a book sale. I keep very few books. I figure that the public library keeps them for me.

message 46: by Hannah (new)

Hannah  (Hannahbanana1980) | 3 comments I don't really have a prefrence, I just read whatever I can get my hands on. I am getting ready to buy a NOOK. So I guess digital would be my choice. Cuts down on clutter.

message 47: by April (new)

April | 3 comments It really depends on the book. I have most of the Harry Potters in hardcover.

message 48: by Sara (new)

Sara (sahayra) | 2 comments Practically all my books are paperback. Hard cover is sometimes awkward for me to hold, especially if I'm laying down, since they tend to be bigger than paperbacks. I also don't like those outside sleeve things that come with hard covers, since it's hard to keep them pristine.

Gitte - Bookworm's Closet (gittetofte) I'm a paperback girl! They're cheap and I find them much more comfortable to read - hardbacks are often very heavy :-)

message 50: by Neen (new)

Neen I prefer the look of hardbacks, but paperback is so much easier to read, especially trying to read in bed with a hardback is impossible to get comfortable. I also agree with (Sara) about hardback sleeves, I always take them off while reading the book then tend to lose them or they get bent and messy.

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