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‘Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.’ – Groucho Marx

Battle of the Book Formats (Hardbacks vs. Paperbacks vs. eBooks vs. Audiobooks)

Guest post: Danielle of The Chronicles of Danielle

G’day, friends! I, Danielle, am here to settle an age-long debate. Ah yes, the war between book formats. Do we prefer hardbacks? Or paperbacks? Or eBooks? Which one comes out on top?

Of course, this is entirely decided on personal preference, as well as accessibility to the reader, but today I wanted to share the pros and cons of each format, and figure out which I believe is the best.

Let’s start with hardbacks. There are some gorgeous hardbacks out there, especially those ones where you take off the dust jacket and the naked book has imprints on it, or the dust jacket has pictures on the inside as well *swoons.* I love hardbacks purely for their beauty, and I think they are perfect when you love a book/series and want to have a pretty collection that will last a long time. Seeing a bookcase filled with hardback editions is so aesthetically pleasing, and as much as I can appreciate and dream of having a collection just like that, the cons outweigh the pros here.

Have you tried to read a hardcover? It’s not an easy task, especially when the book is almost 700 pages long (yes, I’m looking at you, Lord of Shadows). For one, a hardback book is a pain in the butt to carry around and travel with. It’s so heavy. Like it could almost be classed as carrying a weapon; those things are dangerous. But also, the simple task of reading the book turns out to be rather difficult. You have to find the right position and usually use two hands because hardbacks are extra hard to hold open, and you have to take the dust jacket off to make sure it doesn’t get ruined and UGH, SO MUCH EFFORT!

So let’s move on to eBooks. eBooks are basically a gift from the gods. Going travelling and have no room for multiple books? eBooks. Forgot to pack a book on a long distance journey? eBooks. Don’t have access to a bookstore or the money for physical books? eBooks. There are so many positives when it comes to eBooks, and I have absolutely nothing against them.

…Apart from the fact that they aren’t physical books. I am a book collector and am fortunate to own quite a number of books. Being able to see all my books and physically flip through the pages is unbeatable. And let’s be real, we all love the smell of a book – don’t even try to deny it. I just love being able to lie in bed or curl up on the couch with a physical book in my hands and flip through the pages; it’s just so satisfying to me and I don’t get that same feeling while reading an eBook.

There’s also audiobooks, but I’m yet to venture into that territory so alas, I cannot really give pros and cons for it. I definitely need to give them a go, especially whilst stuck in traffic or long distance driving. Audiobooks are still a relatively new format, and I guess when you own quite a number of physical books, and have a certain love for them, audiobooks kind of fall into the same category as eBooks. As well as this, I think I’m a little worried that when I do try an audiobook, I won’t like the narrator. But I guess you don’t know until you give it a try, right?

So that just leaves paperbacks. There was a time where I just wanted hardbacks, because being in Australia hardbacks are a rarity and paperbacks are basically all you can get your hands on. But I have fallen in love with paperbacks in the last few months. Not just any paperbacks, though, because there are those awful paperback copies that you physically cannot read without either breaking the spine of the book, or only opening it a third of the way to read so that you don’t break the spine. I mean, what is with that? No, thank you. Those paperbacks annoy the hell out of me.

My favourite paperbacks are the floppy paperbacks that sit open without you even needing to hold it. They make reading ten times easier and more comfortable, and if you had to choose over a hardback or a nice, floppy paperback, well, paperbacks are cheaper, so… Really though, they are much easier to travel with than hardbacks, and you can physically hold them in your hands and flip the pages unlike eBooks or audiobooks. So I guess we have a winner.

But that’s all just my personal opinion. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, and that’s the beauty of the book community! Let me know what your favourite format is, and why, in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!










I personally love eBooks, because of convenience, they glow in the dark (so no more fiddling with a dying torch and trying to balance a book at the same time!), the travelling thing (as mentioned), I don't ever worry about it getting dusty, I can read sideways in bed without the pages flipping, I don't ever worry about losing a page, and (because I'm super lazy) there's less work involved turning pages!

4th Oct, 18

I will always prefer paper books, but I can stomach an eBook!

6th Oct, 18

I prefer a paperback because the dust covers on hardbacks often come off plus hard backs are annoying and too heavy to take everywhere with me like I normally do with a good book. I would definitely rather a paperback than an ebook because I don't like using devices to read, I find that reading is much more relaxing if i have something in my hands. The reason I don't like audio books is that when I am in bed and listening to an audio book headphones are really uncomfortable and I feel that if the author of the book is not narrating the audio book you don't get the same images as you would if you read it yourself.

13th Oct, 18