The battle is eternal. Which copy is superior? We may never have an answer, though I am sure there is one you prefer. I suppose I’ll start this post by pledging my allegiance to the Hardcover, the elite edition (argue with me in the comments, I dare you!) though it wasn’t always that way.
There was a stretch of time, a few years back, where I would not be caught dead carrying a Hardcover book around. They were bulky, cumbersome, and I could only fit one or two Hardcover copies in my suitcase whereas I could fit at least five Paperbacks. More shocking, perhaps, is the fact that, during those same years, I used an e-reader for much of my reading, but, alas, that is a post for another time!
My Paperbacks were well-worn and always with me. Their pages were dog-eared and their covers were wrinkled, but I loved them. For a while, Paperbacks were good to me, but it didn’t last. I can’t pinpoint exactly when my preferences changed though I do know it happened gradually as the bookworm aspect of my personality grew and began to consume me.
No longer did Paperbacks appeal to me the way a beautiful, brand new Hardcover did. Walking through the bookstore, my attention was wholly focused on the dust-cover wrapped books that graced the front of the shelves. Sorry, Paperbacks, but you couldn’t compete with the WOW factor of the Hardcovers. There is a little thrill when you buy a new Hardcover and open it for the first time. The little crack of the spine that signifies that yes, this is a crisp new read and it needs to be broken in and read immediately!
At the same time, as my bookshelves continued to multiply, so did the importance of aesthetic in my personal little library. And the books with the best aesthetic? Hardcovers, of course! With or without the book jackets, Hardcovers look so regal and so literary sitting on my shelves. Of course, there are Paperbacks on my shelves too, though they grace the lower levels.
Now, for all that I will rage about the superiority of Hardcovers, I must divulge that I read many more Paperbacks than I do Hardcovers. HOWEVER, though I read more Paperbacks (they are more affordable, many books don’t come in Hardcover, etc.) Hardcovers are still my favorites. The weight of several hundred pages inside a heavy cover reminds me that there is a whole entire story, a whole entire world, in my hands. The added level of excitement and joy in reading a Hardcover is unmatched.
While the story is the most important part, I’m not going to lie and say that book covers don’t grab my attention, and none more so than Hardcovers! My Paperbacks remain near to my heart, though if I had to choose, Hardcovers are the books I prefer!
Don’t agree with me? Make a case for Paperbacks in the comments!