During my reading times I have encountered various cover types. Paperback, hard cover, light colored, dark colored, image, no image etc. It all depends on what you want to obtain as an author or what do you like reading from.
Now if you ask me, I guess I prefer hard cover case-wrap. It lasts longer and usually I take it with me to vacations, to the park, to the train etc. So it will stay between clothes, dry food, cosmetics and many other, which means that it will not be treated very “polite”. Regarding coloring, I don’t think I have a special preference. It all depends on the mood. Sometimes I prefer simple uni colored books, but a good image or design would attract my attention. If it has too many colors, I tend to leave because I guess if the cover is chaotic, the book will be also chaotic (I don’t think it’s a rule, it’s just personal subjective perception). If it has an image that I feel it has nothing to do with the title of the book, then I am thinking that there might be many mismatches between one part of the story and the other (again, personal subjective perception).
There are also cases when the cover design matches perfectly the cover title, but just that my mood inspires something else, like uni colored cover, or sometimes I might find the simple style boring. Anyway, let’s get over my opinions and let’s analyse each and every option.
First of all, let’s talk about paperback. What can you do with it? Well it’s easy to carry, easy to bend, easy to read. It resists long enough for you to read it in case you are not much of a book collector. Disadvantages would be it’s sensitivity. If you keep it on a table and drop a cup of coffee on it you can consider it done. If you take it with you on a journey and keep it in your backpack you might end up with a broken book or with some water spilled or something. Also if the rain catches you and your backpack is not water resistant you will say “Houston, we have a problem”. Of course all of that could happen only if you don’t have a special case for your book to keep it straight and safe from rain, bending or spilling. Also, if you intend to give the book to your child, it will be completely broken in a matter of minutes (of course there are also children who are not keen to braking, so let’s not generalize).
And last but not least regarding paperback, if you plan to collect the book, you might wanna reconsider for a hard cover. Now it depends on how you take care of the book. I am only talking about forgetting it on a bookshelf after reading it. It might last you for a lifetime, but if you want to consider the improbable case of transforming into a family heritage, definitely hard cover is the solution.
Second of all, hard cover with a dust jacket. It is a good option, but the dust jacket might make you uncomfortable during reading. I find it disturbing because it always leaves the hard cover and have to place it again, and again, and again. I usually remove the dust jacket while reading. And probably the same thing will a child do. And a student. Honestly, I don’t really know why hard covers with dust jackets are made. I don’t think they are useful for something, I just can’t come up with a purpose right now. Maybe the fact that it has author information on it, but those can be found in an eventual introduction or on the internet, so irrelevant. If you found a purpose, please enlighten me.
Third option, hard covers with case wrap. I find them the most convenient of all. They have some protection against water (well now if you sink the book completely in the bathtub then we have another discussion), against bending, it resists over time and it is easy to manipulate. Now it is a little bit heavier than the paperback, but for a few grams I don’t think it’s the end of the world. The only problem that I can see here is that it might be a little more expensive. Not much, maybe 2 euros maximum (I said maximum), but when you are a student or an old man or woman with low income you need to save every penny.
Now that are my views regarding each and every one of the cover types. It is only up to you and your preferences which one to choose. It is all about what everybody understands in portability and usability. I will stay loyal to hard covers with case wrap (I said that before, right? Well I’ll say it again and again).
This article was written from the point of view of the reader. Maybe I will come back with an article from the point of view of the author (not that I am much of an author, but I will try to put myself into the shoes of one).