As avid readers, we often come across terminologies like paperback, mass market paperback, hardcover, and many more. While they may seem like simple distinctions, they have significant differences that can impact readability and affordability. In this article, we will focus on the difference between mass market paperback and paperback and discuss which one may be suitable for you.
Before we dive into the specifics, let us understand what a paperback is. A paperback is a book that has a softcover binding, which makes it a more flexible reading option. The cover and spine are made of a thin, pliable cardstock or paper, making it easier to carry and read on the go. The pages of a paperback are often made of thinner paper, which may be slightly yellowed with time, but it helps reduce the weight of the book and its cost.
On the other hand, mass market paperbacks are a variation of traditional paperbacks and are generally associated with novels, thrillers, and other genre fiction. Mass market paperbacks are also called pocket books, a term that reflects their size (approximately 6.5-4 inches) and low-cost publication. The most significant difference between a mass market paperback and a regular paperback is the size, which allows for ease of transport and convenience, making it a popular choice for readers on the go.
Another key difference between mass market paperbacks and regular paperbacks is their publication style. Generally, publishers release mass market editions after the hardcover and trade editions have been in the market for a while. It is a way to increase the sales of the book and cater to readers who may not be able to afford the hardback or trade edition.
Now that we’ve understood the differences between the two let’s discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each.
Benefits of Mass Market Paperbacks:
The smaller size of mass market paperbacks makes them an ideal reading option on the go. They can comfortably fit in our pockets, purses, backpacks and don’t add too much weight while travelling.
Mass-market paperbacks are a more affordable option compared to hardcovers and trade paperbacks. They are an excellent way to buy books that may be in your TBR pile list without breaking the bank.
3. Widespread availability
Mass market paperbacks are widely available in bookstores and online portals, meaning you’ll always be able to find what you’re looking for, even if the edition is a few years old.
Drawbacks of Mass Market Paperbacks:
Due to their smaller size and cost-effective paper quality, mass market paperbacks don’t have the longevity that hardcovers or paperbacks possess. The binding may come apart after a few reads, which can be frustrating.
2. Narrow Selection
Not all books are available in mass market paperback editions, especially non-fiction and literary fiction that tend to have extensive and detailed texts that require a more extensive format to be published to preserve their quality.
Benefits of Paperbacks:
1. Better quality
Paperbacks typically have better printing quality with higher quality paper, which makes reading easier and adds to the book’s longevity.
2. Longer shelf-life
Paperbacks have more longevity than Mass-Market Paperbacks, which makes them a better investment if you’re looking to add to your personal library.
3. Wider range of books
Since not all books are available in a mass market edition, a paperback format allows you to purchase books that may not have a mass-market edition.
Drawbacks of Paperbacks:
1. Higher Cost
Paperbacks tend to have a higher price tag compared to mass market paperbacks, making them not as affordable to all readers.
While the size difference between mass market paperbacks and paperbacks isn’t too significant, paperbacks can be more substantial, making them less portable than mass markets.
In conclusion, the difference between mass market paperbacks and paperbacks lies in size, publication style, durability and quality. While both are great options for readers, it is essential to choose the right one based on your personal preferences and needs. If you’re an avid reader who’s looking to add books to your personal library and can afford to pay a little extra, go for paperbacks. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something cost-effective, portable, and readily available, mass-market paperbacks are a good fit for you. Regardless of what you choose, always remember to choose the edition that works best for your reading habits and pocket.