Book Buying Addicts Anonymous discussion

Hardcover or Soft?

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message 1: by Sheri (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:45PM) (new)

Sheri | 11 comments I am a Hardcover Addict. I constantly join doubleday, literary guild or mystery guild and get the hardcovered books 7 for 99c....I buy my 3 more and then cancel and rejoin again. I also join under my hubby and daughter's name. All and all, after completing the membership requirements, you wind up getting about 10-12 books for under $50.

message 2: by Ashley (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:45PM) (new)

Ashley (readerandwriter) I prefer soft cover. It is easeier to read the book. With a harcover you have to hold the flap so it dont get in your way. Thats a real pain.

message 3: by Rachel (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:45PM) (new)

Rachel soft cover all the way. hate hard cover. the only hard cover books i've ever bought are the harry potter books, because i couldn't wait for them to come out in soft cover.

message 4: by Michael (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:46PM) (new)

Michael | 3 comments Harcovers when i can get them, but i'm not totally against Softcovers, it's just that Hard tend to hold up a bit longer

message 5: by Lis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:46PM) (new)

Lis (lis_mvs) soft covers. they are easier to read and to carry around. i only buy hardcovers when i feel like i must have the book immediately and there is no other option. the annoyance of holding hard covers open is distracting for me. i buy mostly used books anyway, and fold them back while reading. i don't purposely mistreat them, but i'm not too careful either. i figure since books are meant to be read, its good when they look like they were.

message 6: by Danielle (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:46PM) (new)

Danielle I absolutely cannot stand hardcovers. Like others out there, I only buy hardcovers for new releases like Harry Potter etc. I know there are some people who want to treat a book to preserve it forever but I just love the feel of a worn-in or used book. Some of my favorite books are even missing covers. I usually buy used anyway so they usually already have cracked spines and whatnot. I don't shows that that book has been read so many times that it's had the crap beat out of it. I love the idea that it's really been used and enjoyed. That's what it's there for right? Words are words, no matter what the cover looks like! If it falls apart, so be it. I'll buy another if I feel the need.

message 7: by Alex (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:46PM) (new)

Alex (alexinmadison) | 10 comments Like Sherri, for me it depends on the "purpose" of the book. Books I love and intend to keep forever are hardback. Stuff I consider "junk-food" are softcover.

Unlike Sherri, I love a worn-out book and tend to curl a softcover and break the spine of hardcovers. To me, well-worn means well-loved. :)

message 8: by Diane (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:46PM) (new)

Diane  (dianedj) I love to pick up First Edition/First Printing hardcovers and the ultimate is to get them's great when we wander into a used bookstore and get one for a bargain price. I also love how the hardcovers look on the shelves.

message 9: by Rindis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:46PM) (new)

Rindis Hardcover or Soft?


I mostly have paperbacks, because of 1) space, 2) price, and 3) some things only come out that way.

So, 1 and 2 mean my opportunity to get hardcovers is limited, and they are generally restricted to 'important' books. I also like to have a series in all the same edition. So if I discover something late, and get the first couple in paperback, I'm probably waiting for paperback on all of them.

All books are keepers for me. The better shape I keep them in, the more often I'll be able to read them. I've had people comment that books I read still look they're untouched afterward. (I do have a tendency to get reverent towards books.)

I don't care much about first edition or autographs. The book is the book is the book (a better cover is worth going for...), and frankly, the author signed it much better with his words than the pen could ever do.

message 10: by Rindis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:46PM) (new)

Rindis Touche.

[Hmm. Firefox's spellchecker seems a bit culturally ignorant.]

message 11: by Emily (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:46PM) (new)

Emily Turner | 1 comments I love soft cover, almost always. I can throw them in my bag and secretly read them at work! The only time I buy hardbound is if I have gone to a bookstore and gotten one for a couple bucks!

message 12: by Jeremiah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:46PM) (new)

Jeremiah Hebert | 1 comments Hardcover if I can get it for cheap. If not, paperback. I take the dust jacket off any hardcover book I'm reading so it won't get ripped.

I'm not a book collector- books are made to be read, not looked at IMO, so I'm not terribly particular about taking care of my books, even though I do treat them gently.

message 13: by Mareklamo (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:46PM) (new)

Mareklamo | 5 comments There are certain authors I buy in hardback, like Bujold and Pratchett. Otherwise I usually buy soft covers for several reasons: they're lighter, easier to carry around, and cheaper.

message 14: by Lily (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:46PM) (new)

Lily | 1 comments I prefer soft cover. It is cheaper, more portable, and takes up less space to store. Plus, it is more comfortable to read a soft cover book when you are lying down.

The only hard cover book I've bought recently was the newest Harry Potter book, because I couldn't wait.

message 15: by Rindis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:46PM) (new)

Rindis Amen to that!

Actually, I had started out waiting for the paperbacks for HP. Then a co-worker got me book 6 when it came out as a thank you for loaning her the first few. So I got Book 7 in hardcover to match it. Or at least, that's my excuse.

message 16: by Caroline (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:46PM) (new)

Caroline I buy hardcovers more often than paperbacks these days, because I think they're so much more beautiful and sturdy than paperbacks. I LOVE the look of them without their dust jackets, and they just last so much better than paperbacks. I'm actually really good with my books, but even then the paperbacks get beat up really fast and it makes me sad.

For certain books, I'll only buy them in paperback. Like Elizabeth Peters or other "fluff" genre fiction that I'll probably only read once, maybe twice, and like to keep in my purse. For most of everything else, if it's available in hardcover...I'll get it in hardcover. Helps having an employee discount to justify this.

I used to hate reading hardcovers, since they're so much bulkier than paperbacks. I think the main reason I love them now is I find them easier to read--so often with paperbacks they're bound so tight and cheap that you have to break the spine in order to read it, which I hate doing to the poor things. Hardcovers, however, you can often just lay open and they stay open, which is so great when I'm reading on a lunch break or have my hands full with cats (which is very very often).

message 17: by Mai (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:46PM) (new)

Mai | 1 comments if the author is my favourite, i buy the hard cover if not i wait for the paperback

message 18: by Kim (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:46PM) (new)

Kim (kimbers81) Soft Covers all the way. There easier to read and fit in my purse. Thats why I love QPB.COM great place for paperbacks.

message 19: by Red (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:50PM) (new)

Red Evans | 3 comments I'm new to this group and agrfee with most of those who preferred the softcover. However, I now have my own book out, On Ice and it is in hardcover format. Another thing is that I don't read as well as I did and take advantage of audio books - no abridgements please - for which I depend on the public library which carries quite a list of titles.

message 20: by SassyMama (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:50PM) (new)

SassyMama (sweet-sassycomcastnet) | 11 comments I used to be a hardcover "junkie", only purchased hardcovers...and I would remove the dust jacket while I read them to make sure they didn't become ruined...but I now prefer the paperbacks...just because they're cheaper...and I have 4 people (2 children, 1 teenager, and myself) in my household to buy books for so, financially it works out a little better...they are easier to tote, I can fit them my pocketbook or diaper bag with ease...many collector's items I still by hardcover or items that I think will be collector's items, but for just casual reading material, especially books that I'll only read once, I definitely buy paperbacks.

message 21: by Lori (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:50PM) (new)

Lori (tnbbc) i used to buy everything i wanted the second it came out as hardcover... i would eye the unreleased lists months in advance to see what was hitting the shelves when.

Since then, I have managed to put a financial leash on my book purchasing habits, and try to refrain as long as possible from buying hardcover- simply based on the damage it does to my wallet. (of course, there are times that a book I want ends up on the 5 buck rack as harcover, then im all over it!)

Paperbacks have the same story inside, only cheaper, and more portable! Besides, switching gears and picking up paperbacks this summer has led me back into more classic readings, which was a nice change of pace for me as well.

As far as storing and bending and loving my i read, i tend to curl back the pages, but i dont like folded edges or tears... a cracked spine is ok, a little wear and tear never hurt anyone.

Paperbacks are more user/carry friendly, but harcovers can support the weight of a reading light... which comes in handy when i want to stay up in bed reading and the hubby is keen on going to sleep....

message 22: by Clayton (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:50PM) (new)

Clayton | 52 comments Interesting insights into other readers' buying habits. The hardcovers I buy tend to buy are books I know I am going to keep for a long time. I usually buy softcover first if it is an author I am unfamiliar with or a novel I have not read. After I finish the book, if it is one I want to keep it goes on my "Hunt List" and every used book store and remainder table gets scoured for the hardcover version. Then the softcover gets released into the wild thru bookcrossing.

message 23: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:51PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I buy both hardcover and paperback. It just depends on the book. New releases I buy on hardcover, but if I can get something in paperback cheaper, I will. But since I buy from the bargain shelf at B&N, I get a lot of hard covers there.

When I'm done reading a hard cover, if it's not something I plan to reread, I like to take the jacket off and use the books to decorate. Stacking up a few books and placing a reading lamp on them is a cute way to add some height.

message 24: by Kimberley (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:51PM) (new)


message 25: by Judub (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:51PM) (new)

Judub | 11 comments Softcopy/paperback definitely, it is economical and it is portable so I can read anywhere whenever I have a minute. If I really can't wait for the paperback, I would borrow hardcopy from the library. What do you guys think of ebooks. I would love to have ebook because that would satisfied the need to have more than one book with me at all time. I really like the Sony book reader which I think is the best in term of reading quality by far. The reason I haven't got the reader is that not all new books comes out with ebook version; and price of the ebook is the same as hardcopy which I think is unreasonable considering that the ebook doesn't come with the glossy print of the dust j acket, paper and print. What do you guys think of ebook? Maybe I should start a new thread about this.

message 26: by Armando (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:52PM) (new)

Armando Alvarez | 9 comments I personally like soft covered books for different reasons. A)price B)more portable C)more comfortable with none of the edges poking you. true I may not find a paperback so I get hardbacks sometimes. really expensive though so I try to go to at least 1 other bookstore before I buy a hard back. I dont like ebooks that much because you would have to read on computer or have it read to you (dont like that either) or print it out if possible. You dont get the same quality or the same amount of joy out of reading it. basically like the life sucked out of the book.

message 27: by Shari (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:52PM) (new)

Shari | 1 comments I agree with Lis. I carry my book every where and sometimes when I am in an interesting part and can't leave it I read it on the drive to where I am going. I cant do that with a hard cover very well.. And yes I realize you shouldnt do the read/drive thing but sometimes you gotta find out what is happening :)

message 28: by Meredith (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:52PM) (new)

Meredith Watson | 37 comments It really doesnt matter to me. I like any book! Of course, paperbacks are easier to carry and cheaper. I shop the bargain tables too, so that allows me to pick up hardcovers often. I like the size of the new softbacks too. As for wear and tear, I will sometimes fold over pages or fold back a paperback; but I dont abuse them. As someone said earlier, a well loved book should look well loved!

message 29: by Llama (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:52PM) (new)

Llama Castillo | 34 comments Soft cover absolutely, and pocket size are the best, that way I can take more books with me. I have several hardcovers but most of them were given to me.

message 30: by Shawn (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:53PM) (new)

Shawn I collect and read mostly hard covers. I also buy mostly older books -- from the 1930's, 1940's, 1950's, and some 1960's. 90% of my books come via e-bay. I search for specific authors and genres and publishing houses.

There are a few exceptions, where it is near impossible to find hard backs, or the book was only printed in paperback. Mickey Spillane books for instance, and certain great collections of early sci-fi.

I'll also confess that I write in my books terribly. Notes all over the margins, thoughts I have when I read get put into the book. Yet another reason for hardbacks with wide margins and blank flyleafs.


message 31: by whichwaydidshego (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:54PM) (new)

whichwaydidshego Hmmm... In the past I loved getting antique books, which are almost all hard-cover, and reading those because loved the idea that others had read them before me... thinking about where those people were in their life, etc., was as inviting as the book itself. But somewhere in the last several years I lost that love.

Now? Mostly it's soft-cover because I tend to carry several with me, and they are a bit more compact and light for travel. But usually I don't have much of a choice... AND I'm not all that choosy. I take what I can get.

I did the opposite of many of you when picking up a soft-cover in a series late in the game. I then buy the new releases in hard-cover and re-buy the first few that I have in soft rather than waiting. I mean seriously, like I COULD wait for months and months for Harry books! Or Thursday Next books.

One thing I will say is that if I can avoid it, I won't ever, ever buy the "pulp" or "pocket" sized (6 3/4" x 4 1/4") soft-covers. Bloody hate those things! The ink rubs on to your fingers, the poor quality paper yellows almost instantly, they are usually unpleasantly odorous, they are bulky and cumbersome, and they just generally annoy!!

Oh, and Shawn, I'm with you on the marking up the books! Underlining, comments, and ideas litter the pages of the good ones!


message 32: by Reza (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:54PM) (new)

Reza | 5 comments I'm all about the softcovers. They're lighter and so much easier to read. The only time I intentionally bought hardcovers was for the Harry Potter series. I'm keeping them for my unborn children. Isn't that sweet?

message 33: by Tara (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:55PM) (new)

Tara (tara_n) | 22 comments It really depends on the book. I buy both hardcover and softcover. I hate breaking the spines on softcover books but I do it anyway because it seems like I can't get teh book open very wide otherwise. I have all of the HP books in hardcover. If there's a new book coming out that I absolutely cannot wait to have, I'll get it in hardcover. I usually get my books from doubleday anyway, so a lot of the time they are in hardcover format. It doesn't matter though, when I go to the bookstore, I'll usually walk out with 6 softcover books. I have noticed that my hardcovers have survived my clumsiness much better than my softcovers :).

message 34: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:04PM) (new)

Meghan I love hard cover but sometimes my wallet requires otherwise (i am a book buying junkie over a hard cover junkie). I do prefer the larger size soft cover over the small "old school" style soft cover books. I know soft cover makes it easier to lug around and carry, but I like the look of how the hard covers line up so nicely on the bookshelves. Plus, I have a thing for dustjackets, especially authors/publishers who put some real thought into the artwork.

message 35: by Rachael (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:04PM) (new)

Rachael | 23 comments I prefer reading softcover, because it is easier to read. But, I will buy hardcover. It depends on the subject and/or author.

message 36: by Kellie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:04PM) (new)

Kellie (krheck) | 14 comments Just a note, I was selling books to Half Price Books and the guy flipped through some of my hardcovers and said "book club books" and I wondered how he knew that. He said they're always hardcover, they have the uneven edges, and they are "off-printings" whatever that means, I never did find out. Anyway, basically those hardcovers from the book clubs are cheaper for a reason, they get them for next to nothing.

You're smart, though, to just satisfy their requirements and then get out of the club.

But Half Price Books doesn't give me diddly for those particular books, so I stopped doing the book clubs. You might not ever re-sell your books, so this might not be an issue, I just wanted to throw out my experience.

message 37: by Seizure Romero (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:04PM) (new)

Seizure Romero Badmuthagoose: book club editions (BCE) are the bane of book collectors and because of this most used book dealers won't touch them; if they do, they generally pay less for them. The short version: BCEs are lighter and smaller than the 'trade' hardcovers because they are made with cheaper materials. One of the quickest ways to ID them is that they have no price on the inside flap or barcode on the back. These are general rules and I could go on for several paragraphs about the differences and the exceptions yadda yadda yadda (I've been thinking about starting a Book Collectors group just to cover these kinds of topics).

The gist: if you're not a collector & don't care about resale value pick up whatever editions you want; BCEs will almost always be cheaper, sometimes cheaper than paperback editions. Selling BCEs to used shops may prove difficult, however.

message 38: by Don (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:54PM) (new)

Don (donfoolery) | 27 comments I should comment on the bookbag thread, but suffice it to say that I don't like carrying bulky hardcovers, especially when I carry around more than one book. I have bought hardcovers that were either on really deep discount or that, in the case of M. Rickert's Map of Dreams, I just couldn't wait for the TPB.

message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

I used to buy all types of books, brand new and from the used book shops. Now, I get the review copies and most of them are soft covers but a few hardcover copies also came my way.


message 40: by ScottK (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:55PM) (new)

ScottK 97.3% paper back fan here,although I have been known to shell out the bucks for the hardback if I really wanted it. It all depends. Some books I have bought in hard back I just did because they were on the $5.00 table at borders. :)

message 41: by pop (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:55PM) (new)

pop I'm not all that particular, I see no real advantage to hard covers unless it's a book I'll be keeping for a long time. I don't keep many, mostly manuals and things like that to refer back to. Fiction, lordy I would need a library the size of the Library of Congress if I were to keep them all. Of course, I do have one hardcover signed first edition by a friend that authored it. that's sealed in plastic and put away.

Mine when they come out will be in soft cover. Mainly, it's because they are less expensive to do, the small publisher can take a chance on a new author.

message 42: by Michelle (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:56PM) (new)

Michelle (literarilyspeaking1) Softcover because I can hold them more easily. Hardcovers just tend to be so cumbersome...

message 43: by Bliss (new)

Bliss (blissreads) | 16 comments I like hardcover as a collectible but soft for sticking in my bag to go.

Soft cover is less cumbersome. I'm trying to learn to carry smaller purses these days.

message 44: by Eric (new)

Eric I like to read at work so I tend to get the softcovers. I never know when I need to move quick in my job so a softcover is good because I can jam it into my pocket and go go go.

Kat (A Journey In Reading) (ajourneyinreading) If it is one of my favorite authors...(James Patterson).... I always buy first edition hardback..... I have just about all of his books and do not have the first paperback.

If it is someone that I have never read before, then I buy paperback....if I fall in love with it, then I go and find the hardback.

I don't know, maybe I am

And to the person who mentioned starting a book collectors group..... if you do, let me know... would love to be in that one!

message 46: by LJ (new)

LJ (ljroberts) Hardcovers are my first choice and I put archival mylar book covers over the books dust cover as soon as I get a new book. But I have a lot of tradepaperback and paperback books as well. I also have cloth bookjackets that I get from Book Jackets ( for all three sizes that I put each book in as I read it; they keeps books clean, protects them and have built-in bookmarks.

message 47: by Charity (last edited Jan 05, 2008 01:18PM) (new)

Charity (charityross) Badmuthagoose...just to add to what Seizure Romero said...

Book Club Books most identifiable and consequently, least attractive, feature is the use of glue instead of stitching on the binding of the pages. BCB still use hard covers, but attach the pages only with glue which make the books fall apart very fast...thereby negating almost all collectible value. However, true hardback copies both stitch and glue the pages to a piece of cloth that is attached to the binding. This ensures that the book will remain intact much longer than other alternatives...making it more valuable.

I personally buy hardback books for those which I would like to keep and reread. I buy softcovers (trade and mass market pbs) for the books that are only available in the pb option or when I know that I will read it once and then resell it. Once in a while I will buy soft cover editions of certain publishers because I enjoy both the cover art and the quality of the printing (i.e. random house's modern library, harpercollins's perennial classics, penguin classics, etc.). My current library is about 60% pb, 40% hb.

message 48: by Des (new)

Des | 7 comments definitely paperbacks.more handy

message 49: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly (kpeterson19) I buy both. I like to buy hardcover for authors I like and for books that I will re-read. I buy paper back for authors that aren't my favorite or that I buy strictly for light reading. I try to take good care of all my books, but it's easier with hard cover because they start out looking so nice and you have the dust jacket to use as a bookmark. With paperbacks I always break the spine and turn the pages.

message 50: by Nighteh (new)

Nighteh Sozin (Nightfure) | 2 comments I buy paperback books, unless I'm totally obssessed, and I can't wait another year or so for the paperback version to come out. Then I buy the hardcover version.

for me, the paperback is easier to read, and easier to hold when I'm reading it ('cause I usually read while laying on my back). With the hard back, I have to fit my hands around the part that goes off the edges of the pages (I have pretty small hands).

All-in-all. I try to buy the paperbacks :)

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