Friday, September 4, 2015

Hardcore vs. Softheart: book covers

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.


Benedict reading
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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. ;)

Hehe. This is amusing. Because.. this is how I feel reading Pride and Prejudice right now.
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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.

28 Totally Relatable Quotes About Books:
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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 wouldn't go anywhere without my dog-eared paperback copy of "The Hound of the Baskervilles" from the time I read it at 15 until after a couple of years into college :):
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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.


Books:
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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.


.:
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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?  

16 comments:

  1. I don't have a particular preference, myself... You're right in that paperbacks tell a story because they get so exposed to the elements, and they are cheaper and lighter, and those things are all nice. Still. Hardbacks come out first, and they look better on a shelf, in my opinion. But you know what? I do not actually buy books for their covers. I buy them because they are awesome. And so while there are setbacks to both forms, I love both book styles anyway! :)

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    1. I know me too! What's inside is what counts, right? But you know just for the ol' fun of it, I thought I'd do a post. ;)

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  2. I will always and forever more enjoy paperbacks more than hardcovers. It's just HARD (heh, heh. xD) to curl up with a hardcover because it's endlessly uncomfortable and bulky. *glowers* And they're expensive for my poor self. Plus all of my books on my bookshelf are paperbacks and I feel a bit odd about that changing. xD

    But, they are both books with great stories so I wouldn't complain at all if someone were to gift me a hardcover. ;)

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    1. The story is the best part. So not, going to complain if someone gives me one cover when I "wanted" another. But I think you're right about paperbacks. They're just friendlier. :D

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  3. I don't really have a favorite! But if I'm getting books from a beloved book series as a collection, I'll go hardcover. I don't really mind reading with either but if I want a portable book, I'll go paperback.

    I guess it really depends on the situation xD

    ~Noor
    a little bit of sunshine

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    1. Oh, yeah! I understand the collector thing. I have the trilogies of Hunger Games and Divergent. The first book in each is paperback, while the rest are hardcover. XD That's in part because my parents bought them, but I think they had the same idea behind it as you do. :)

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  4. It all come down to money with me too, if I can get more books for less, I am going to go for the paperback, as pretty as the hardcover sometimes looks.

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    1. Definitely, it boils down to the bank, unfortunately. I do not understand though, why they always make the hardcovers so beautiful and then they just get kind of sloppy with the cover for paperbacks. Are the publishing companies biased or something?!

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  5. Aah... the great debate. Hardcover vs Paperback.

    I personally prefer paperback not just because it's cheaper but also because it fits in bags better. Hardcovers also feel a little more fragile to me, just because it has the fancy cover on top and you could easily crinkle a corner, so... paperbacks :)

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    1. Paperbacks are much more portable. They fit in just about anything and you definitely don't have to worry about wrinkling them. They're meant for a little wear and tear, right? ;)

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  6. PAPERBACKS FOR THE WIN! Great post! I do appreciate a good hardcover, but there is honestly something artsy about a worn paperback.

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    1. Ah! I didn't think about that! But you're so right. Old paperbacks have this hipster attraction. . . I think that's why I like them. :D

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  7. I've actually worn several hardbacks down -- my copies of A Series of Unfortunate Events, case in point. But I do love many of your arguments. I normally go for paperback nowadays, for monetary reasons, but sometimes I can't wait for the paperback to come out and order a hardback ... and the series covers don't match ... *glares at Harry Potter*

    Thanks for commenting on The Devil Orders Takeout, Ashley!

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    1. Yep, I usually go with cheaper. I've never actually had to wait for a book until recently. Winter is coming out soon and I'm not sure I can wait for a paperback. . .

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  8. As unbiased as the evening news ... you certainly are. I like paperbacks for carrying around purposes, and it is nice to buy a worn secondhand one and imagine its previous lives. I don't know, though. There is something majestic about hardbacks.

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    1. I will agree that hardbooks do have a certain allure. They so beautiful. :D

      But secondhand paperbacks, or even hardbacks sometimes- Gosh, just secondhand books! They make my day. I don't even know why.

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