Ok, so I feel like I might be a bit weird in this respect, but I’m going to come right out and say it: I really dislike hardback books.
Yes, they look nice on your shelf and are much sturdier than paperbacks, but there are a number of reasons for my hatred of hardbacks:
- They’re so unwieldy.
Hardback books are bigger and much more unwieldy than paperback books in my opinion, and are just much harder to read. You can’t open them as wide or as flat as a paperback, so I can personally never find a comfortable way to hold them, especially without feeling like I’m completely destroying the book’s spine.
- They’re heavy to carry round with you.
I do a lot of reading on my break at work, and so I like a book that isn’t too heavy and can fit easily into my bag. My Kindle of course, is ideal, but even a larger paperback doesn’t add too much weight.
A large hardback, however, is a totally different story. The one that sticks in my mind is the copy of Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson that I took to work with me every day for a week. As a hardback, over 1,000-page book (it was the only copy that the library had) it practically broke my back taking it with me every day, whereas the equivalent paperback (The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson…he writes long books!) was no where near as big and heavy.
- They cost a lot more.
There’s no denying that hardbacks are much more expensive than paperbacks, with your average hardback costing anywhere from £12-£25, whilst a paperback is rarely higher than £8.99. This is of course understandable, as they’ll be more expensive to produce, but for a book that is much more unwieldy, why would I want to pay more?
- Book jackets that slide up and down…they are the bane of my existence!
One of my biggest pet peeves with hardback books is those damn dust jackets! They are impossible to keep on the book whilst you’re reading it, so I always end up taking it off and inevitably losing it, or wrecking it.
So you can understand why I find it so frustrating that when new books are released, they’re often only available in hardback at first! Especially as some books take so long to come out in paperback, that you end up with the dilemma of whether you want to read the book enough to part with extra money, for a more unwieldy copy. Plus, if you already have earlier books in a series in paperback, you obviously don’t want a great big hardback in the middle of your collection!
I feel like I may be in the minority with this though, as there’s no denying that hardback books look great on a shelf. In fact, in an ideal world it would be nice to own all my favourite reads in hardback just as a display copies…I just really don’t like reading them!
So what are your thoughts on hardback books? Do you find them comfortable to read? And do you find it frustrating that new releases are often only available in hardback?