So recently I bought some books. You know, the past times of a bookworm. I was presented with the decision of:
*insert booming voice*
Hardcover vs. Paperback
To be honest, it was a smallish decision for me. Some people take great pains to match their trilogies and own the best edition of a collector's hardcover. I will admit I adore a beautiful cover. But I care most about what's inside. So when it comes to "get a hardcover" or "save two extra bucks for the next book" I go with the latter choice.
All the same though, I wonder. What are the True and Honest Pros and Cons of Hardcovers and Paperbacks?
I'm loving capitals and bold here. Bear with me. This could get cheesier.
hardcovers have their own defense system
The hardcover obviously is stronger than a paperback. It has a little extra protection from spills and "handlers" (well meaning family, friends, or the occasional *gasps* stranger) who aren't all that careful.
Plus, hardcovers have even more protection as they come with a jacket. You know, for the cold winter weather. ;)
paperbacks are open to the elements
*sighs* I say elements. . .
The paperback is the most sensitive of the book kind. All you have to do is open the poor thing and its cover gets all bent out of wack. Its spine wrinkles. Its pages are rumpled when stuffed in a bag with pencils and other books (books like day trips with friends too, okay?). We won't go on about the coffee/tea stains.
you can't have paperbacks without hardcovers
How in the world are you going to straighten out that paperback? Calm its quavering cover? The only way to get it back to normal is, you guessed it, flatten it with a couple hardcovers.
There are many variations to this trick. You can lay one hardcover over the paperback for a prolonged period of time. Or you could go for the dramatic variation which only differs by stack many hardcovers protectively atop the paperback. Others prefer the sandwich method. In the most extreme and dire cases though, the "shelf it" therapy is used. In said case, the paperback is squeezed in between two hardcovers on an already tight-packed shelf.
paperbacks take less room
So you want to take your books with you? You'll fit more paperbacks than hardcovers in your bag.
Hardcovers tend to be larger than paperbacks. They're clunky. And so conspicuous. For all their strong defenses, they scream, "Here I am!"
I prefer to be an unseen bookworm. The less attention I draw to myself the better. Paperbacks are subtle and quiet. They're easier to carry around and pack. Paperbacks reign here!
paperbacks are less expense
I'm sure you know the price of books.
Hardcovers are distrusting sorts of books. They are guarded, what with their own built-in security system and all.
Naturally being more open, paperbacks are easily acquired. Their trust is worth much, but sometimes one could earn two paperbacks for one hardcover.
Not that means anything about how valuable a paperback is. I don't know about the hardcover. It's always got something up its sleeve. But a paperback will never leave you. It'll stick by you until the end.
I know because:
paperbacks tell stories
No, I don't mean the stories written on the page. Yes, those are there. But I mean the wear and tear that happens over time to these sensitive souls. Everything a paperback goes through, it wears on it's cover (no sleeves here, those are for hardcovers).
You know a well loved paperback when you see one. You know it was a true, unwavering friend. You know one that's been neglected and needs a good read. A paperback's history is written all over its face. The wrinkles. The tears. The curls. The faded edges.
It's a beautiful story. All those things the paperback has seen. All those people it has comforted and helped and excited and calmed. Everything it's been through.
Clearly, I'm as unbiased as the evening news.
So what about you? Do you prefer the hard defenses of the beloved hardcover? Or do you like the unassuming and free spirit of the paperback?