Discussion: Hardcover? Paperback? E-book?


Hi community of awesome, I’m Ava Jae, and this is bookishpixie. So I’m going to do a slightly different vlog format today, where instead of me giving tips I’m going to talk about my opinion on a topic and you guise can share your opinion, and it’ll be like a discussion vlog. So today’s topic is the format in which you prefer your books, so hardcover, paperback, e-book, etc. I’ve been thinking about this at least partially because the paperback for BEYOND THE RED releases in October, so soon you guise will have even more options than just e-book or hardcover. So I’ve been thinking about how you decide between buying a book in hardcover, paperback, or e-book. For me at least, when I have the option to
choose—so the book already has multiple formats available—and I’m deciding between hardcover and paperback, the deciding factors for me are how much I like the cover, and how convinced I am I’m going to like the book. If I’m not head over heels on the cover, and I’m also trying out a new author or series, there’s a better chance I might go for the paperback. I’m also kind of meticulous about my series though, so if I buy the first book of a series in paperback, and I like it and wanna read the rest, then I have to buy the rest of the series in paperback too because I don’t like mixing and matching different format within the same series; I like it all to match. That’s just a little ridiculous quirk I have, but yeah. I will spring for hardcover with a new author however, if I really like the cover, and I’m super intrigued in the story and thus pretty darn sure I’m going to like it. I have in the past bought some hardcovers with new authors I hadn’t read before, and not really liked the story as much as I wanted to, which is a bummer, but for the most part this has worked well for me. Basically I like to have hardcovers when I love the cover and I also love the story, um, because they hold a special place in my heart—there’s just something special about them that I really like. But of course they’re also more expensive, so there’s that. It used to be if I didn’t like the cover, but I was interested in the story and wanted to read it, I’d buy the e-book. I don’t do that as much anymore because I tend to now reserve my e-book money for just books that only come out in e-book, but that’s something I used to do, too. Now if I don’t really like the cover, but I still wanna read it, I’ll go to the library. And same goes for books that I’m curious about, but not sure about. Those also tend to be library reads for me. So how about you guise? What’s a deciding factor for you between picking up a book in hardcover, paperback, e-book, or going to the library? Let me know in the comments below. So that’s all I’ve got for today! If you liked what you saw, don’t forget to subscribe and comment, and I’ll see you guise next week!

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59 thoughts on “Discussion: Hardcover? Paperback? E-book?”

  1. Rocknalldatime99 says:

    I think i'm weird because I don't really like hardcovers in an aesthetic sense. I'd take paperback anyday. I like how flexible they make books feel.

  2. MisterBassBoost says:


  3. Ely says:

    I am a library person. And if I like the book I buy it then.

  4. MisterBassBoost says:

    Great content. Keep it up!

  5. Ahti Voutilainen says:

    I usually just take a paperback as it's the only one available in the shops I frequent. Now that I have been reading so many paperbacks I've gotten used to them. As for e-books – I never read if I'm on the computer and instead my reading time is in bed before sleeping or when commuting and I tend to want to reserve the phone battery for what phones are for. Library reads… I do that with books for studies but not exactly for novels

  6. AvA says:

    I'll take hardcover over paperback any day if I can, paperback are too easily bend. and that's makes me sad

  7. Frank Brooks says:

    Hardcover for me, they remind me of all the old fashion books. From decades and centuries ago, when all books had a solid cover. Paperbacks feel like children's or cheap books from the $1 box at shops. Ebooks are like reading a large Wikipedia page.

  8. Virgil Gray says:

    I used to like hardcover more, but lately I've been enjoying paperback. I think it's hard to get into a comfortable reading position and even worse with a hardcover book xD

  9. Hannah Carmona says:

    I agree with all this! Fun fact most libraries include free ebooks with your card.

  10. Audrey Metcalf says:

    Ava! I have a question. An agent is interested in my manuscript and asked to read it. The problem was, this agent was one of the first I queried, and after months of no response I assumed she had rejected it, and after a bit more querying I decided to change and edit my manuscript once more. When she unexpectedly asked for a full, I hurried my editing process and sent it off. But now I'm unsure if I should continue querying other agents or continue the little bit of editing I still have planned. Can I continue to work on my novel if an agent has it, or wait for her response first?

  11. Luke Souza says:

    For it depends on how big the book is. I usually like hardcover but if it's more than 300 pages I'll usually get paperback for ease of read reasons.

  12. Yesica1993 says:

    I'm broke, so it's usually a financial decision for me. Paperback is usually cheaper. (Also easier to carry around, since I do a lot of reading on the train. And walking down the street.) Hardcovers are ridiculously expensive. Even if I had money, it's a rare book for which I'm going to to shell out $25-30. But if I'm in a used bookstore or a library, I will often pick the hardcover because paperbacks get beaten up more easily. I'm a weirdo who also likes to wipe down used / library books before reading. Dirty, pawed-by-a-hundred-hands books gross me out.

    As to ebooks, I have to admit I wanted to love them much more than I do. I've had various forms/incarnations of ereaders for some years now. For some reason, I've discovered that my mind just does not retain as much when I read on the ebook compared to paper. It makes no sense to me. It's the same exact content. Why would it matter? But I've tried it over and over, with various types of books and it's been the same thing. I don't know if there's been any scientific studies done on this issue. I would like to learn that it's not just me being crazy. I still love ereaders, but they may end up having to be more for re-reads or lighter books that I'm not necessarily very invested in. I also read a lot of nonfiction and I love to highlight. Bookmarking on a ereader does nothing for me. I'll never remember to check them.

    Also, I have waited years for the prices of ebooks to go down. I assumed they would. Oh, there are a lot of cheap, even free ones out there now. But newer books (actually, most of them) cost as much as physical books. Sometimes they cost more! I do not comprehend this. Maybe I'm ignorant of the actual process, but I assumed since there are no physical materials to handle, they would be less costly to produce. I'm not going to pay the cost of new paperback for an ebook, when I can often find a used physical copy for a couple of bucks!

  13. Tessy Dockery says:

    For me, it literally all depends on my budget, how badly I want the book, and how much space I have on my shelves. I love hardbacks, but I have a major thing for the floppy paperbacks. But I have been buying books on ebook lately due to low budget and low shelf space. It literally all depends on those 3 factors.

  14. 21ChemicalAtTheDisco says:

    No matter the price, I always buy hardcover if I could. They are harder to accidentally rip. Somehow, the covers on paperback always rip when they are in my backpack. Even when they are in a pocket all on their own… Also, it's more satisfying to me to see a shelf full of hardcover rather than paperback.

  15. Yesica1993 says:

    I know this sounds bizarre coming from a book lover, but I've never been a huge library lover. (In practicality. I love them in theory.) But when I was growing up, there was only one library near me. Really, not even near, since it was quite a walk! And it seemed they rarely got new books, because often when I'd go I'd realize I'd read most of them. Nowadays, I have many more choices of libraries. But quite often when I go to look for a book, they don't have it! I can't tell you how many times this has happened the past few years. Maybe I've just had bad luck lately. I will keep trying. Finances are short these days, so I need to utilize them as much as I can.

    I wish there was a way to buy books directly from the library if you end up loving them. For one thing, I love the plastic covers they use! I wish all books had them. Plus, I tend to get attached to particular physical copies of books. Even if I end up buying my own copy of a library book that I loved… it's not quite the same.

  16. Underling Labs says:

    Right now i'm almost exclusively buying eBooks for space purposes. Other then that i tend to buy used books so I don't really have the option to be picky.

  17. Tjarlie says:

    Saaame I don't like it when I have a series of different formats

  18. Antoine Bandele says:

    I'm an eBook purist (preferably on Kindle, which actually looks like a page). Easier to carry/archive.

  19. Mocha says:

    I like hardbacks, love paperbacks, and dislike eBooks.

  20. Garrett Robinson says:

    I prefer hardcovers but I read way more paperbacks because money. 😬 I will sometimes read ebooks, but I really don't prefer it.

  21. Nerdgirl 88 says:

    I love my hardcovers for looks but more so read the paperbacks. I like my series books all to match as well so that is a big deciding factor for me whether or not the first few I have is hardback or paperback. I don't really like the e-books at all but they are a little cheaper and easier to carry around when you like to have reading options on hand. ❤ love the video as always, you'r such a big help in achieving my goals.

  22. Rocío Mtz. says:

    I love hardcovers but paperbacks are easy to carry in my bag and take them with me, also less expensive and I don't have enough money for books. I think e-books (still in early stages in my country) would be a perfect thing for me because I travel frecuently and I wouldn't have to pay for shipping, if only I could manage to love a bit less having a book in my hands.

  23. Edmonton Boy says:

    I like both for many reasons

  24. Asa Holcombe says:

    E-book! Until I decide if it is worthy of being displayed in my small library. Then hardback.

  25. Kevin Breeze says:

    I'd rather have paperback, but I'm confused… why did you keep bringing up if you like the cover.. you pick hardcover? I assume u mean the picture but wouldn't both the hard and paper both be the same exact picture? I don't see why they'd be different pictures.. not like the hard cover is even on the book it self.. it's a piece of paper over ur actual book

    ebooks are easier and cheaper but paperback is just better

  26. Lily Meade says:

    I buy a lot of my books on ebook $1.99 sales, so that makes my decision for me. When I do have the cash and opportunity to buy physical copies I spring for Hardcover because I'm one of those anxious people who hates creasing the spine of a paperback.

  27. Sherry Liu says:

    I like all books, regardless of format! 🙂
    I love your videos, they help me out a lot!
    Do you have any suggestions about where in the story to start the novel and how?

  28. Creative Writing Prose says:

    I like all one kind of format for a series two.

  29. LauraCan'tVlog says:

    I buy hardcover if the book is new, if it is over 300 pages, or if I really like the cover/author. I get the paperback if the cover is better or if the book itself just looks better as a paperback compared to the hardcover. Also I will get the paperback if it is around 325 or below just because the hardcover makes it look bulky. I only buy e-books if I'm going on vacation or if it's on sale.

  30. Dave B says:

    Paper back for me. I don't like the way hardcover sits in my hand. It feels very rigid and uncomfortable.

    I also usually like my series to match, but I'll switch things up depending on certain factors. Like, for example, Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archive: I read the first book after it had already come out in hard cover, but I was already a big fan when the second book came out, so I pre-ordered it and got it in hardcover, as will be the case with the rest of the series.

  31. Eric R. Bates/TURNSOLE says:

    Hardcover for home library and paperback for traveling. If I read a paperback on a trip and love it I will buy a hardcover copy to put on the shelf at home. I know…a bit expensive but's books!

  32. sophie spang says:

    i buy hardcovers if it's 500+ pages because it just seems too flimsy when it's a paperback. but i'm a super big supporter of ebooks; i don't even really remember the last time i bought a physical book of my own volition.

  33. Chiky Scares You says:

    always paperback, unless there is no paperback

  34. Gabriela Cass says:

    I like paperback more. First because i always carry a book with me in my bag and the paperback tends to be lighter and second because the hardcovers are not only really hard to find here in Brazil but also reaaally expensive. 🙂 Also i'm not a fan of ebooks because for some reason i can't concentrate in a book if its only on my screen. I need to feel it in my hands xD

  35. eduardo wolf says:

    I buy hard cover if it has one because I don't take care of paper backs well so hard cover I listen to Ebooks but I would rather read it but sometimes I buy it and after hear it when I'm working

  36. David Griffith says:

    I'm a paperback junkie, I've never really been able to get into ebooks.

  37. Faolmor says:

    I regularly buy ebooks now. I like that I can take my whole "personal favourites" library with me, wherever I go. If I really like an ebook, I will sometimes get the paperback…because, well, it's a REAL book, and it's nice to have it on my shelf, and to be able to sit at home and read it. I very rarely buy hard covers. They are too expensive for me, and they take up a lot of space. I like them, but they don't lend themselves very readily to making reading an easy experience. If I was going to get something signed, I'd get the hard cover.

  38. Катя Мазурчак says:

    Nice to live in a country were you get to choose xD For me it's either e-book or weeks/month of waiting from amazon or ebay, with a delivery price sometimes higher than a price of the book itself. For small amount of popular books in English or translated ones there is, I suppose I still prefer paperback because I read during my commute and hardcover is just too heavy. I do like artbooks in hardcover though.

  39. Knitty Nerdy & Natural says:

    I like paperback the best myself. I'm exactly the same about needing the format to be the same. I have 2 copies of Injustice comics that are hardcover and the rest are paperback and it bugs me. I usually buy ebooks of indie titles since they sometimes are only ebook. I've been doing some ebook stockpiling since I'm about to go on a trip and I don't want the to weigh my suitcase down.

  40. Jack D says:

    I tend to just stick with paperbacks since they take up less shelf space and they are usually a third of the price of hardbacks. I only tend to buy hardbacks if they are first edition and I love the author.

  41. Elza Stepina says:

    Hey. So can you make a vlog about writing contests or things like Inkitt? Is it worth the struggle?

  42. Lembas says:

    If the book is over 500 pages I prefer hardcover. If smaller I prefer paperback. I had The Lord of the Rings in paperback and it fell apart over time.

  43. Krystal Combs says:

    paperback. i like it to be smaller and better to take with me. i dont like e books. i like to have the book. wespend enought time looking at screens the wat it is.

  44. Gary Kline says:

    I tend to buy fiction in e-book format for my Kindle, and business books in paperback / hardcover, whichever is cheaper or available. I like a physical book for stuff I'm going to refer back to (tag, hightlight, etc.) .

  45. DC Adams says:

    I have so many quirks! I tend to get library ebooks for most new reads/new authors to me, then if I love them I'll go hardcover. It's always hardcover for my auto buy authors and pre-orders. I tend to paperback when there's no other option and depending on how expensive the hardcover is! I buy ebooks when I want to do re-reads and in place of mass market paperbacks, which I don't like. Oh! And if I absolutely LOVE a book, I'll get both HC and PB. My wallet hates me.

  46. Lucy Cummings says:

    I think paper back would be my favourite.

  47. Michael Hall says:

    Hey Ava its mike, how are you doing? I was wondering if you can help or make a video on character transitions. Like a good guy to bad guy or bad guy to anti hero. What advice would you as a writer suggest about a topic like this? Have a good day, Ava XD

  48. DeathDefyingStar 1000 says:

    Hardback all the way. It makes me feel like it's a book I can get stuck into. tho paperbacks aren't that bad either. But I draw the line at e-books. Lol.

  49. Christina Behnke says:

    I tend to use e-books for when I'm on the go and want something to read. These books are generally a single read through, since I buy really cheap e-books. If its a book I'm unsure about I will usually get a sample e-book if available and test it. If I really like a book or excited for it I will buy it in paperback preferably. If it's a book I will read a lot or several times – I get it in hardcover, because they last longer.

  50. rainyfire 1987 says:

    I like reading eBooks on my phone because I can take them anywhere with me easier. but if I'm at home I prefer a hardcover over a paperback. but I have a writing question.
    .how do I give my character weaknesses. I know your characters just can't be perfect or your story won't be believable and it will be boring. but I can't figure out how to do my characters weaknesses it's not that they're invincible the way I'm writing them. it's just all the weaknesses I can think of won't fit with the person they are. ??? P.S. thank you for your videos they've helped me a lot 🤓😎📖

  51. Nikkimond says:

    It depends on how I want to read the book. If I plan to read it at home and it's an author I like I'll take the hardcover for the collection factor. If it's a book I want to read underway or at work I'll go paperback or ebook. The truth is though, I read less of the ebooks I buy than the physical copies. The physical ones are always stacked up…reminding me…pressuring me to continue reading.

  52. R. H. says:

    Hmm, it's a bit different for me. I've been a student for the past seven years, and as such I haven't had the time for enjoying anything outside of specialized reading. I'm not sure I remember how to just relax and enjoy a book. I find that some things are easier to read as an e-book, and the portability is nice. However, there are texts that seem to require laying them out on a table because there is a massive amount of flipping back and forth cross-referencing, and e-book bookmarks just don't cut it. That doesn't even take into consideration that some e-books are released with poor layouts that aren't study friendly.

    Also, My library is almost 6,000 books digital, and around 700 physical. I wouldn't have enough space for physical copies.

  53. bookfandomfab says:

    It's kind of funny because I have almost a completely different opinion about hardcover vs paperback. If I love the cover of a book and I know I'll like it, I will get it in paperback. If I'm kinda meh about it I'll get hardcover. Although there are some times when I'm like GIMME THAT HARDCOVER! I do completely agree with wanting a series to match, when the books are a mix between hardcover and paperback I'm really aaaah! And if you agree more with the video, good on you! We all have differing opinions and they're all valid! Have a nice day!

  54. Lynn Hawley says:

    If I can afford it: Hardcover.
    If I'm broke: Library.

  55. Vanessa Giesbrecht says:

    I feel like I'm one of those lone wolves that not only prefers paperbacks (it's lighter to carry around in my bag and I love the flexibility), but I also don't mind having book series on my shelves having a mix of paperback and hardcover (from what I see there are people who seem to be flat out horrified at even the possibility of mixing the formats). The reason I feel this way is because I can't afford to buy new pristine books all the time at retail price, so about 95% of the books I own come from thrift stories/flea markets/used books from online bookstores in whatever form I receive it in. Since I'm a university student, I tend to first look for books for classes in the library or in ebook.

  56. Lizzie Snell says:

    because I'm so young I normally just read books from the library, I don't mind e-books but I love paperback and hard cover.
    which I like better? no clue! I just wanted to share my random opinion 😀

  57. Against Machines Taking Over says:

    Do every book have both options?

  58. Paul French says:

    This is a really interesting question. For me the perfect book is the softcover the size of a hardcover if I could I would by all of my books this way. Next would be the hardcover partly because of the price and partly because they are generally heavier. Weight is an issue whenever I move. The paperback comes next because they are smaller. E-books are last I am old school and I like to touch the book and feel the pages turning. Usually I only get ebooks when they are the only option. Again because I am old school I go to the library for detailed research. The internet is great to a point but when you need to go deep the library is the place to go.

  59. Promilicious says:

    Yeah I tend to prefer paperback more like some of the people here have mentioned. Hardcover seems more showy and not really made for reading. 🙁

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