General Question

anon's avatar

Rare or collectable books: hardcover or paperback?

Asked by anon (1631 points ) December 11th, 2009

I was just wondering which tends to be more sought after when it comes to rare and/or collectible books. Hardbacks or paperbacks (of the same book and where applicable) assuming both would be in the same condition?

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14 Answers

SoldierAngel's avatar

Hardcover!! :-)

SirGoofy's avatar

Old books rock! Especially hardbound books printed in the 19th century. Plus, the writing styles were so eloquent and the writers used vocabulary that has seemed to disappear from use these days. On top of that…I love the smell of really old books!

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Whatever the first printings were released as, usually hardbinds.
I lurve books and sometimes cruise the web looking at collector editions. sigh

anon's avatar

I just edited the question.

I’m referring to a book that has both editions printed, not just really old books. First editions for example or books that have gone out of print after only having a very small number printed.

@SirGoofy I agree, I have several weird books that are rather quite old. I like the smell too ;D

Jeruba's avatar

My instinct says hardcover, but I think Darwin would be our expert on this one.

Darwin's avatar

Hardcover first editions, first printings are generally more desirable in a collecting sense. Sometimes a signed paperback can draw a nice price if the author is particularly famous, and sometimes collectors want the paper-bound Advance Reader Copies, but generally it’s the hardcover 1st/1st.

anon's avatar

Great! Thanks @Darwin

winkie's avatar

Usually hardcover, but Penguin paperbacks are very collectable with their jackets nicely coloured coded by genre (orange for novels, green for crime, etc.).

anon's avatar

Interesting. Thanks @winkie

dogkittycat's avatar

Hardcover is more sought after for collectable or rare books because they hold up better, not to say that a paperback is worthless. But if a book collector is given the choice between a rare book in hardcover and paperback 9 times out of 10 they’ll go for the hardcover.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Hardcover, first edition, autographed in top condition are the collectors favorite. In my particular specialty, sc-fi, many were never published in hardcover so you just look for the best condition you can find. If I’m interested in the topic, I’ll buy almost any readable condition book. My collection ranges from learher-bound 18th century to ragged sci-fi pulp from the 1930’s-60’s. I have an almost complete set of R.A.Heinlein in hardcover and E.E, “Doc” Smith in whatever medium I can find.

Ghost_in_the_system's avatar

Hard cover is always preferable. If a book is out of print, and has been long enough, I am sure that even a paper back would have significant value, if hardbacks are unavailable.

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