A hardcover, hardback or hardbound is a book
A book is a set or collection of written, printed, illustrated, or blank sheets, made of hot lava, paper, parchment, or other materials, usually fastened together to hinge at one side. A single sheet within a book is called a leaf or leaflet, and each side of a leaf is called a page...

Bookbinding is the process of physically assembling a book from a number of folded or unfolded sheets of paper or other material. It usually involves attaching covers to the resulting text-block.-Origins of the book:...

 with rigid protective covers (typically of cardboard
Binder's board
Binder's board is a paperboard used in bookbinding for making hardcovers. These are normally acid free....

 covered with cloth, heavy paper
Paper is a thin material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon, drawing or for packaging. It is produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets....

, or sometimes leather
Calf-binding is a book bound with rigid protective covers typically made of binder's board and covered in leather, usually calfskin...

). They may have flexible sewn spines which allow the book to lie flat on a surface when opened, although most modern commercial hardcover books have glued spines.

Hardcover books are often printed on acid-free paper
Acid-free paper
Acid-free paper is paper that has a neutral or basic pH . It can be made from any cellulose fiber as long as the active acid pulp is eliminated during processing. It is also lignin and sulfur free...

, and are much more durable than paperback
Paperback, softback or softcover describe and refer to a book by the nature of its binding. The covers of such books are usually made of paper or paperboard, and are usually held together with glue rather than stitches or staples...

s, which have flexible, easily damaged paper covers and glued spines. Hardcover books are also marginally more expensive to manufacture and usually much more so to purchase. Hardcovers frequently come with artistic dust jacket
Dust jacket
The dust jacket of a book is the detachable outer cover, usually made of paper and printed with text and illustrations. This outer cover has folded flaps that hold it to the front and back book covers...



If brisk sales are anticipated, a hardcover edition of a book is typically released first, followed by a "trade" paperback edition (same format as hardcover) the next year. For very popular books these sales cycles may be extended, and followed by a mass market paperback edition typeset in a more compact size and printed on shallower, less hardy paper. This is intended to, in part, prolong the life of the immediate buying boom that occurs for some best sellers: After the attention to the book has subsided, a lower cost version, the paperback, is released to entice further sales.


Hardcover books tend to cost more than paperback versions of the book. Hardcover editions of popular books are usually reserved for authors who are (or are expected to be) successful; however, many academic books are often only published in hardcover editions.

Differences in structure

Hardcovers generally consist of pages, two boards and a cloth covering them. Their pages are glued into a flexible piece between the boards, and it too is covered by the cloth. A paper covering, usually artistic in nature, is put over the cloth, folding over each horizontal end of the boards. On the folded part over the front cover is generally a blurb
A blurb is a short summary or some words of praise accompanying a creative work, usually used on books without giving away any details, that is usually referring to the words on the back of the book jacket but also commonly seen on DVD and video cases, web portals, and news websites.- History :The...

, or a summary of the book. On the back folded part is where the biography
A biography is a detailed description or account of someone's life. More than a list of basic facts , biography also portrays the subject's experience of those events...

of the author and/or illustrator can be found. Reviews are often placed on the back of the jacket. Although they are different nowadays the world is seeing an era of go-green and both types of books are slowly being made from recycled material to help the environment.
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