Difference between Paperback and Hardcover

When you’re looking for a book, you might see the terms “hardcover” and “paperback” used to describe two different types of books.

Paperback and hardcover books are both great, but they’re not the same!

The main difference is that a Paperback books are often thinner than hardcover books, and they’re often less expensive than their hardcover counterparts.

Before we move to the differences, let’s understand what are Paperback and Hardcover:

  • Paperback: Paperback is a type of book that’s printed on paper, and then folded in half. It’s a way to make books smaller and more affordable for consumers.
  • Hardcover: A hardcover is a cover that is made of stiff cardboard with a cloth or paper lining. It protects the pages of a book and makes it easier to hold.

Paperback vs Hardcover

Now, let’s move to Paperback vs Hardcover:

Major differences between Paperback and Hardcover

Paperback Hardcover
Paperback is a book that is not bound with hard cover. It has a soft cover that is made from paper or pulp. Hardcover books are bound with hard cardboard covers which are stiffer and thicker than paperback covers.
The paper cover is also known as flexible cover or soft cover and it is more affordable than the hardcover version. The hardcover versions are more expensive compared to paperback editions because of their higher production costs.
Paperbacks have a shorter shelf life compared to hardcovers because they have less durability and are more prone to damage due to their flexible structure. Hardcovers can withstand long-term use despite occasional damage due to their sturdier outer covers which protect the pages inside them better than paperbacks do theirs own pages against damage during normal use (i.e., bending).
Paperback books have a flexible spine, which means that pages are not connected to the binding and can be easily removed from the book. Hardcover books have a solid spine that prevents pages from being removed from the book easily.
Paperback books are less sturdier than paperbooks. Hardcover books are sturdier than paperbacks.

That’s it.

Note that sometimes, the question might also be asked as “distinguish between Paperback and Hardcover”.

Also see:

Final words

Paperback and hardcover books are both great, and they have their own advantages.

If you love to read, it’s worth getting both versions of a book. You never know when you might be reading one version in bed and want to finish the story at work or on the bus, so having both is a great way to make sure that you don’t have to wait for the next time you’re able to read your favorite author’s work.

If you like to collect and display books, then maybe hardcovers are more your style. They look great on shelves!

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