Battle of the Book Formats | Hardbacks vs Paperbacks vs Digital copies (ebooks) vs Audiobooks

Hello friends! Have you ever questioned your reading preferences? Have you ever encountered someone who ‘detested’ reading paperbacks (which you love) and perferred hardbacks, or vice versa? I’ve had the same thoughts and decided to do another book battle-slash-discussion!

We all have several book formats out there, but the most well-known ones are hardbacks/hardbounds/hardcovers, paperbacks, digital copies/ebooks, and audiobooks. If you haven’t familiarized some of these terms yet, here you go:

  • Hardback – a book bound between rigid boards covered in cloth, paper, leather, or film.
  • Paperback – a type of book characterized by a thick paper or paperboard cover, and often held together with glue rather than stitches or staples. In contrast, hardcover or hardback books are bound with cardboard covered with cloth.
  • Ebook – an electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.
  • Audiobook – an audiocassette or CD recording of a reading of a book, typically a novel.

Hold on. These aren’t the only book formats. There are several ‘sub-formats’ under these. For example, under paperbacks, you have trade paperbacks and mass-market paperbacks etc.

If you’re updated when it comes to my blog (this faerie appreciates your attention very much) you’ll know that I recently did a post where I did a book battle (discussion) between paperbacks and hardbacks. Now it’s time to do a book battle of book formats in general!


I did a small poll on Twitter to see which format is the most popular. The results are shown below:


Based on the results, paperbacks and hardbacks are the most widely-preferred formats among the four. Both were tied. The lesser-used formats (digital copies and audiobooks) each got 7%.

It’s not a surprise that a lot of people would chose physical copies over digital or audio copies. Why? First, it feels good to physically hold a book in your hands. Bonus points if it has a super preeetttyyy cover that you can take bookstagram photos of. Second, when reading physical copies, you can actually see your reading progress. Sure, ebooks and audiobooks show your progress too, but everything is maximized when it’s on a physical level. Third, physical books are technically healthier than the other formats…well, compared to ebooks at least. HBs or PBs lessen your exposure to radiation from phones and otehr gadgets, but can also be harmful (especially to your eyesight) if not read in the right manner (well, we all LOVE to stay up late and read, right??)

But hey, ebooks and audiobooks aren’t that bad. To be honest, I’ve never really tried audiobooks. Yep, you got that right. But I’ve actually tried ebooks before and they’re handy-dandy especially when you’re constantly travelling. Bringing paperbacks and hardbacks with you on a trip adds more weight to your baggage and there’s a risk of damaging your book! *faints* With your ebooks downloaded on your phone or any gadget you always carry with you, you can read anywhere without having to worry about the safety of your physical book.


Well, if you’re going to ask me, I am going to choose physical copies all the way. Paperbacks especially.

Let me share a snippet about paperbacks from a blog post I did a while ago:

Paperbacks compose 92% of my book kingdom. I don’t generally prefer them over their backboned cousins, but like I said, I prefer buying paperbacks over hardbacks.

They’re my ideal reading format. Why? Because they’re light and compatible! It couldn’t hurt to bring a paperback to school or for the car ride (and bring its friends also, so it won’t be lonely). They’re easy to fit in my backpack (with appropriate protection, of course) or any of my sling bags, or pretty much most of my bags in general.

Okay, paperbacks aren’t all that perfect. Definitely not.

The downside is, paperbacks are very prone to damage. Cracked spines, creased covers, easy to bend, etc. And trust me, I really HATE it when my books get damaged. It doesn’t even matter who did it (well, usually) because as long as it’s damaged (crack spine, creased cover, pen marks, etc.), I probably won’t fall asleep for that night. And every time I see the damage I would blame myself and I’d get a feeling as though my heart is being staked.

A lot of you know this feeling. It feels horrible, right? No bookworm wants to damage their book (unless if it’s a published fanfic where their OTP or fave characters die).

Source: Paperbacks vs Hardbacks: An Ageless War by The Night Faerie (a.k.a me)



Let’s split up paperbacks and hardbacks one by one.


1. Tough protective cover


Yes No
2.  Fits easily No Yes
3. Lightweight No Yes
4. Affordability No Yes
5. Prettyyyy Yes Yes


Let’s consider the odds. Paperbacks are light, cheap, and compatible, but they’re easily damaged. Hardbacks, on the other hand, are sturdy, pretty-under-the-dust-jackets, and long-lasting, but they’re expensive. Which weighs out which?

Actually, if you ask me, both are equal in my eyes.

Sorry, I know that sucks, but it’s true.

Hardbacks = Paperbacks.

Both have their pros and cons, their advantages and disadvantages. Both have positives and negatives. Honestly, both are as balanced as the sun and moon.

I like to think they’re meant to be that way.

Source: Paperbacks vs Hardbacks: An Ageless War by The Night Faerie (a.k.a me)

In the end, you can’t really decide which book format is the best format, because it all depends on an individual’s preference, which varies A LOT.


So that’s a wrap for today’s post.


Everyone has their opinions, and you’re free to like whatever book format/s you want. However, it’s also good to get out of your comfort zone once in a while and try out new things! That means I have to try out audiobooks soon…haha.


Like I said, you’re free to have your own preference. But it would be even better f you could share your opinions in the comment section below!




I want to hear YOUR thoughts. Pick one: Hardback, paperback, ebook, or audiobook?

Which one do you prefer the most, and why so?

Is there a book format that you particularly hate? Why?



Thank you, thank you for taking the time to read this post! Because I work hard for this little book blog, I’d love it if you could support me by liking, commenting, and sharing this post, OR you can send me an encouraging message.





6 thoughts on “Battle of the Book Formats | Hardbacks vs Paperbacks vs Digital copies (ebooks) vs Audiobooks

  1. Ruchi says:

    For me hardback and paperbacks always are at tug-of-war. I just can’t decide but yes I grab a hardcover of I am able to. Audio books, for me, are unpredictable because the likeablity not only depends on the writing by the author but also on the storyteller.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Athena | The Night Faerie ☽️✨ says:

      I totally agree with that. It’s always PB vs HB and I am no exception. I’m not that confident with audiobooks usually because although I am very fluent in English and my grammar is pretty good, I have a bit of a hard time comprehending verbal words sometimes because Eng words are pronounced a little more different here in the Philippines. Like in songs for example, I am sometimes confused with the lyrics bc they are not what I hear. But audiobooks are great too of course. I guess it depends on the reader’s preference 😂♥

      Liked by 1 person

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