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Board Book VS Hardcover VS Softcover: Which Is Better For Kids Books

Time: 2023-02-15 Hits: 741

Board book vs hardcover vs paperback: which one is best suit for my children’s book printing? In this post, we explore their definition, advantages and difference to guide you make the right choice.

As a author, when comes to printing your own children’s book, the first thing you need to consider is select right genre for your book. There three pop children’s book styles are board book, hardcover and paperback, each one has its advantage.

What’s Board bookboard book printing

Board book is a book that each page is made of two sheets of thicker cardboard and then self cover or hardcover are glued together to be a book. Board book usually designed for the children whose age between 0-4 years old.

Board book is different from the normal children’s books. The board book is thicker and more durable than them. This type of book is suitable for younger children or toddler to tear or bite and repeat reading.

What’s Hardcoverwhat's hardcover

Hardcover book, also known as case bound, hardback, hardbound, etc. Hardcover binding involves sewing the inside pages together and then gluing on the hard cover, making the hardcover book is durable and long-service time.

A hardcover book is usually with thick and durable material as the protective cover, like PU leather, cloth, special paper, etc. People are prefer hardcover are not paperback, because of hardcover book is more high-end and durable.

What’s Paperbackwhat's paperback

Paperback, also known as softcover, perfect bound, etc. Paperback includes perfect binding (glue binding) and sew perfect binding. Perfect binding is that all inner pages are glued together on a softcover. Sew perfect binding is that all inner pages are sewn together and then glued on a softcover to be a book.

Paperback is the most popular and cost-effective option in publishing industry. It often used for the fiction and non-fiction books printing, like catalogs, textbooks, magazines, novels, lookbooks, etc.

The Advantage of Paperback Books

Firstly, they are lightweight and portable, making them convenient to carry around. Whether you’re commuting to work or going on a vacation, paperback books easily fit into your bag without adding much weight.
Secondly, paperback books are more affordable compared to hardcover editions. This makes them a great option for budget-conscious readers or those who prefer to explore a wide range of genres without breaking the bank. Additionally, paperback books are often released earlier than hardcovers, allowing readers to get their hands on the latest releases sooner.
Lastly, paperback books offer a flexible reading experience. The softcover format allows the book to be easily held and flipped through, making it comfortable for extended reading sessions. The pages are also more pliable, allowing readers to bend the book without damaging it. Overall, paperback books provide a convenient and cost-effective way to enjoy your favorite stories.

The Advantage of Hardcover Books

Hardcover books, on the other hand, offer a different reading experience that appeals to many book enthusiasts. One of the primary advantages of hardcovers is their durability. The sturdy hardcover casing protects the pages from wear and tear, ensuring that the book lasts for years. This makes hardcovers a preferred choice for collectors who want to preserve their books in pristine condition.
In addition to their durability, hardcover books are often considered more visually appealing. The hardcover casing provides a solid foundation for intricate designs, embossing, or foiling, making them aesthetically pleasing. This makes hardcovers an excellent choice for coffee table books, special editions, or gifts.
Furthermore, hardcovers generally have a higher quality of paper and printing. The pages are thicker and of better quality, enhancing the reading experience. The larger size of hardcovers also allows for larger text and illustrations, making it easier to read and appreciate detailed artwork. If you value the tactile experience of reading and enjoy a visually stunning book, hardcovers are the way to go.

The Advantage of Board Books

Board books are specifically designed for young children and offer a range of advantages tailored to their needs. One of the main advantages of board books is their durability. Unlike regular books, board books are made with thick cardboard pages that are virtually indestructible. This allows young children to handle the books without worrying about tearing or damaging the pages.
Another advantage of board books is their interactive nature. Many board books feature interactive elements such as flaps to lift, textures to touch, or sound buttons to press. These features engage young readers and make the reading experience more enjoyable and interactive. Board books also often have simple and colorful illustrations, capturing the attention of young children and fostering their love for reading.
Furthermore, board books are easy to clean. Spills or accidents are common when it comes to young children, but with board books, you can simply wipe them clean without worrying about damaging the pages. This makes board books a practical choice for parents who want to introduce their children to the world of books without the fear of ruining them.

Board Book VS Hardcover: The Difference

board book vs hardcover

The main difference of between board book and hardcover is the printing paper and binding ways.

To make the board books more durable and bright, when custom board books often with thicker cardboard. Usually the thicker cardboard is coated one side (C1S) paper, the popular paper weight between 250-350gsm. And the binding is each page of two sheets paper are glued together and then self cover or hardcover are glued to be a board book. To make sure the book open easier, the inside spine is not glued together.

Hardcover book printing is not like board book printing has too much paper limited. When print a hardbound book, there have many paper options, like coated paper, offset paper, matte art paper, etc. And the binding is also different from board book binding. Hardcover binding is that inner pages are sewn together and then glued on end sheets and the hardcover. The spine can be glued or not glued together, which depends on the customer’s needs.

Hardcover vs Paperback: The Difference

The main difference between hardcover and paperback is the cover. Hardcover with rigid cardboard and wrap with cloth, leather, special paper, etc. So that the hardcover book with a powerful protection, more durable, not easier to fold, bend, and wrinkle. While the paperback with a softcover (usually use normal paper as the cover), which is easy to fold, bend and wrinkle. If frequent use, it is more easy to damage.

Besides, the cost of a hardcover book is higher than paperback. Not just because of the cover material is expensive than paperback. Also, because the hardcover book pays more attention to the process. Usually, when printing hardcover books, often with one or several post-processes on the paper surface to form a special printing effect. Like lamination, foil stamping, spot UV, embossing and debossing, etc. That means the post-process more complex is, the cost is more higher. Because various of post-process are used in the hardcover book, makes it more high-end and popular by the people.

Which Age of Children is Suitable for Board Book

The toddler who among 0-4 years old, just start reading. Board books are best for these ages of younger children.

First, board books are durable and with the features of tear-resistant, bite-resistant. Most children at these ages with the habit of bite or tear off book. While parents selecting board book for them, they don’t need to worry about their children bite or tear the book. Because board books are very hard to tear off. It is more suitable for repeat reading.

Second, board book often with rounded corner and will not hurt young children’s immature hands. Third, board books are printed with coated paper and then lamination on the surface, which makes the color more bright and will attract the children to read. Besides, to attract younger children to read. The design of board books usually with simple words or sentences and matches with bright color illustration.

Paperback VS Hardcover: Author Need to Know

If you plan to self-publish a children’s book, below video about “paperback VS hardcover for children’s book” will get you some guides.


Board Book VS Hardcover VS Paperback: Which is Better?

  • From the view of reading age, printing board book is more suitable for the toddler. Because compared to hardcover and softcover, the board book is thicker and more durable. Board book is the best choice for parents who want a book to withstand repeated readings and chew on by the younger children and toddler. Besides, board book often design with simple words and sentence and match with color illustration. Simple, short and bright color contents are easy for children to read and understand.
  • From the view of economic to consider, paperback is the best choice. Because the cost of softcover book printing is cheaper. For some parents, paperback children’s book is cheaper and easy to replace when it was damage. For some publishers, paperback is the most cost-effective way to print children’s books, not only save time, also save much cost.
  • From the view of durable and profit, hardcover and board book is the best choice. For readers, hardcover and board book are more durable and high-end. Hardcover book and board book with strong binding, that means they won’t fall out. The cover of hardcover book and board book, which cover is strong, not easier to fold, bend and wrinkle. Whether for repeat reading or collecting, hardcover book and board book are better. For publishers, although the cost of case bound books and board books is higher than paperback. But these two types of books are more durable and high-end, which can make them sell more high price and earn more profit.
  • From the view of book size and page count, hardcover has a more wide range of choice. Board book because of its feature, which is suitable for the book size between 4-10 inch and page counts between 8-40 pages. If the book is too thick or too large, it often not recommend for custom a board book. Paperback is suitable for the book between 32-200 pages, that depend on the paper types. Hardcover book is suitable for any book type you want to print as a hardcover. Page counts, size and paper have more options. The pages between 20-1000 pages all can do as a hardcover. But it also depends on the paper types.


Board book VS hardcover VS paperback? In fact, without which is better. It depends on your choice. When you plan to print your book, you can combine your book types, budget, reader group, page counts, etc. to consider, to find a best suitable one to apply on your own book.

Explore our wide range of book printing services and get your book in professional quality result today!


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Marta D
13 days ago

If you value durability and aesthetics and are willing to invest more, hardcover books are preferable.
If you prioritize cost, portability, and convenience, softcover books are the better choice.

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