You may already have asked yourself this question while making an order for your favorite book on Amazon
Do I choose hardcover or paperback? Or sometimes, to make your choice even harder, the Kindle or audiobook versions are available. What are the differences between hardcover and paperback books?
As a general rule, the main difference between hardcover and paperback book are their bindings methods. A paperback book is made with a soft cover and is generally cheaper, while a hardcover book use a stiff cover, and so is more expensive.
That’s it for the main difference between both.
But I’ll now give you more detail about this coverage types and explain to you how they are manufactured.
A book with a flexible paper bindingMerriam-Webster
This definition doesn’t bring more information than what I already told you
But keep in mind that paperback books are often cheap books with a soft cover in paper or glossy paper
Here are a few examples of paperback books:
Without going into manufacturing details, you have to know that all paperback books are not made the same way
For marketing or cost reasons, the editor can choose to save money depending on how the book is printed
Glued square back
Most of the time, books are printed this way, it’s the cheapest method to print a book
Book sheets are printed, collected and then glued to the cover
When you look a book made this way, you can see the squared form. The cover is perpendicular to its back, as the name says
Sewn square back stitches
On higher-end books, you may see several pages group, like small notebooks in the main books (check on the picture)
Notebooks are made with a seam collecting all pages
And then all the small books are glued to the cover in order to keep everything together inside the book
You may also note flexibility differences between two paperback books
For example, American books are generally more flexible than English books
You can find paperback in different size formats, there is no rule about this
A paperback book doesn’t guarantee a specific size
The book size can also depend on the book content
For example, literary novels and fictions books have different sizes
And finally you can find paperback books in many topics
The paperback format isn’t limited to a specific type of book
You have paperback books for fiction, school lessons, medical content, etc.
If you need a few examples of paperback books you can find on Amazon (or any other seller), here are a few ones:
- Cheap versions of mass-market books, like Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
- Self-study books, like the “For Dummies” collection
- Classics and mass-market books are often available in paperback versions to stay accessible for everyone, like Shakespeare books
Let’s see now the other word to categorize a book: hardcover
Having rigid boards on the sides covered in cloth or paperMerriam-Webster
For a hardcover book, the backs of the notebooks are sewn together. Then they add a hard cover: the binding.
The hardcover book is harder, and also more expensive.
Generally the cover is simple, mono color (white for example), and you have an additional glossy paper with the book cover
For expensive books, you can have the cover directly on the hard cover (this one is the perfect example, with a leather bound)
You can see on the pictures below a few examples of hardcover books
Like for paperback, you’ll find multiples manufacturing ways to make a hardcover book
As these books are more expensive, you’ll more often find original books with hardcover
Most of the time, hardcover books are made with stitched notebooks
These are glued to the binding, or not attached at all to the back (with this method you can see a gap on the back when you open the book)
Even if we often find squared backs on hardcover books, the hard cover allows manufactures to play with other forms, like round back
As you can see on the picture, the cover is not perpendicular to the back, there is a slight roundness giving a style to the book
A hardcover book is generally considered as the high-end format of a book
But you can find a hardcover on many books types:
- Comics: many comics are made with hard covers
- Cooking recipes books
- Beautiful books: most of the time, books you can offer are made with hard cover, it looks better
Here are a few examples of hardcover books on Amazon:
- Comic books, like Angel
- Recipe books, like The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook
- Books with beautiful landscapes, like this one from National Geographic
- Special or anniversary editions, like this Peter Pan
I hope you liked this post and that it helped you to understand the difference between hardcover and paperback books
If you remember it on your next purchase, I’ll have done my job 🙂
Please share this post in your favorite social network if you liked it