A week or two ago in Goodreads, there has been a popular poll thread over at the Filipino Group Forum about the debate between Hardover books versus their paperback counterparts and I thought it makes for a very interesting topic for style Saturdays. I know for sure that there’s really no clear winner between the two because each has their own distinctive pros and cons and readers in general are evenly split in their respective preference when it comes to book format designs—some are really hardcore biased to hardcover books while some are absolutely in love with paperbacks. Here’s my two cents.
I have nothing major against hardcover designs but I’ve always been a paperback/softcover kind of reader for as long as I could remember. In my mind, I have always associated hardbound books with conservative book collectors with humongous bookshelves at home. For some reason, I have always thought that they only wanted hardcover books because their spines are lovelier and would look better when stacked against each other, but I know now that most of the readers who like hardback books usually prefer this format because of their durability and sturdiness as compared to paperbacks which are likelier to be wrinkled and crumpled after a couple or so of re-reads. This, I admit, is an excellent point.
However, my hardcover books don’t necessarily make the most comfortable reading experience, I must say. Finding a good reading position is every reader’s problems but it’s even more difficult with a hardbound book! My arms get tired easily and my shoulders tend to hurt too, because hardcovers are usually massive in sheer size and weight and are therefore bulkier in my bag whenever I go outdoors. Ah, the problems and pet peeves of a reader! Haha.
This is why I’ve always been a paperback girl through and through—they’re light, handy and even though they’re so much more vulnerable and can easily be battered and dog-eared, the cover will forever be there and I don’t have to worry about losing the dust jacket. Books, after all, are so much better when they’re all worn-out, right? Call me sentimental or whatever but a book with yellowy pages and wrinkled covers and pages is one of the most romantic things in the world for me. Nothing but an old, battered paperback can show how much loved a book has been—to be read countless of times and to still be regarded as a treasure so precious.