How do you take care of a well-used paperback book?

1) Shelve Your Books Properly

Always store your books with same sizes and lengths (e.g. paperback novels) in an upright position. If necessary, use bookends to give them extra support to avoid your books from slumping. But for oversized books (e.g. hardcover novels, coffee table books), it’s best to lay them flat on the surface than upright position. This to prevent the spine of oversized books from weakening or separating from their structures.

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STEP 4) Review Your Book Formating

Go through your book and make the needed adjustments. For instance, you may need to add an extra blank page right after your title page. Otherwise, your table of content or copyrights will appear behind it, and it won’t look right. I suggest you grab a paperback to get a better idea. Just try to imagine someone opening your book and what they will see, then add the blank pages accordingly. Of course, once you upload your paperback to KDP, you can check its preview. However, by doing this right away, you avoid wasting time.

Afterward, simply scroll through your book and, if

Afterward, simply scroll through your book and, if needed, add page breaks before each new chapter. It should look something similar to this example:

Also, clean any unnecessary formatting issues. Som

Also, clean any unnecessary formatting issues. Sometimes, you may have problems with bulletin points or the heading spacing. Delete any extra enters, etc.Once done, your paperback should look sleek like a

Once done, your paperback should look sleek like alleluia, baby! I’m not sure what that means, but it sounds alright! 

7) Use a Bookmark

Not everyone has the luxury of time, attention or ability to read a single book in just one sitting. In case you are unable to finish the book, avoid folding the page in a “dog ear” form. This could wrinkle or damage the page. Instead, invest in a bookmark or you can make your own using cardboard.

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How do you keep paperback books from curling?

The Best Way to Prevent Paperback Books From Bending

  1. Make sure it’s on a flat surface and that you’re looking at the inside of the book cover. Make a little indentation in the plastic book cover until it is flat
  2. open the book slightly
  3. Put the book down.
  4. Every time you read, make sure that your book is on a flat surface. Place your book on a bookshelf to keep it safe.

How long does it take for books to rot?

There you have it: the lifespan of a book ranges between 10 and 300 years, depending on the quality of the paper, the binding, and the surroundings.

Things to Consider before choosing a Paperback or Hardcover

Being a book lover myself, I would suggest you consider the following things before choosing between the two types of books.

1. Your Budget and Book’s Cost

Hardcovers usually are priced a little higher than paperbacks, this, of course, is due to their extravagant packaging when compared to paperbacks.

Readers always ask why paperback books are cheaper than hardcover books. That’s because its cheaper for the publisher to print paperback editions than the hardcover edition which in turn helps in reducing the cost for the readers.

Hence, whenever you have a budget constraint or whenever you choose to be cost cautious, you can go for a paperback edition of the book rather than a hardcover.

In rare cases, when the publisher decides to slash the cost of unsold hardcovers, you may get cheap hardcover books. Also, sometimes an older edition is available on a lesser price than a recent edition in paperback.

2. Quality and Durability

As I mentioned earlier, Hardcovers are hardbound books in the front and back and are always known to be the better quality edition than paperbacks.

Hardcovers have a thick paperboard (very thick cardboard) for protection and most hardcover books have a dust jacket enclosed with the front cover to prevent dust from accumulating.

That’s why the hardbound books last much longer and prevent the pages from loosing out or flapping on the sides.

On the inside, hardcover books are made of thicker better quality paper known as acid-free papers. These papers don’t damage easily with time and usage.

However, paperback books aren’t usually this premium in terms of quality and durability on the inside and outside and are generally considered as quicker and cheaper options.

In terms of even fonts, most of the times hardcovers have a visually bigger font size which increases the ease of reading.

In terms of quality, the hardcover books as discussed above are much better so books which are used for re-reading or books which will be referred repetitively can be bought in hardcovers as they don’t wear with usage.

3. The Gap in Release Dates

In most cases, publishers tend to publish the hardcover versions initially when the book releases, and only in rarity both paperback and hardcover books are published at the same time.

So, the question arises How long until a book comes out in paperback? In most cases, paperbacks come only after a year or two after the release of the book. In fact, sometimes when the initial run of hardcover versions sell good, publisher release another edition in hardcover only (which I hate really).

See, if you are eager to read the book and can’t wait to dive into it, then you have to spend some extra bucks and go for the hardcover edition. Otherwise, you have to wait for the paperback edition for nothing less than 9-10 months.

4. Ease of use and Utility

Hardcovers generally come in a standardized format with little variation hence making them look good on a shelf when being arranged with other books.

In sizes and most hardcovers are larger and look premium, paperbacks, on the other hand, come in a lot of different size adaptations and alternatives and are generally smaller and than hardcover books.

Since paperback books are smaller, have thinner pages and cover they also tend to be light in weight when compared to hardcovers because they are free of the extra additions and just care to the content.

If you are a travel reader and love porting your books along with you in your holidays then hardcovers will be a bulky choice both in terms of weight and space and paperbacks will be a more agreeable choice.

Hence in terms of handling and ease in using, paperback books are the clear winner over hardcovers.

5. Other Personal Preferences

Apart from the above-mentioned choice points, there are other minute details which also tend to alternate our choice between paperback vs hardcover such as the purpose of buying and place of reading.

As discussed earlier, Paperbacks seem to be a convenient and compact choice for traveling, hence for those who love to read on the move generally paperback editions are recommended. They are easier to carry and also cause less strain while holding.

A lot of us have the habit of reading on the bed and in this case, you should prefer paperbacks which are always easy to handle and flip over.

Books are a man’s best friend when it comes to gifting, and for decades books have been gifted with love and memoir. When choosing a book as a gift, hardcover editions with a premium and superior look are welcomed mutually by both the buyer and the receiver.

Preserve the Structure


Paperbacks are designed for affordability, so they can be particularly fragile. Paperbacks aren't as durable as hardcovers, so they take more effort to keep intact. Gupta shares two more points in her thread about how to preserve the structure of paperbacks:

  • Use a bookmark and do not fold (dog-ear) the pages.
  • Never leave a book open when you are not reading it [doing so damages its spine].


Additionally, if you're holding your paperbacks with one hand, don't do it in a way that bends the front cover. It can be surprisingly difficult to flatten down again. Worse yet, you may damage the spine of the book.

Frequently Asked Questions?

How Do You Format A Paperback?

  • Book Standard Size: either 6×9 or 5×8. In case you have a short book, you may choose 5×8 to make it look thicker.
  • Book Margin Sizes: Top: 0,5 – Inside: 0,5 – Bottom: 0,5 – Outside: 0,6 – Gutter width: 0,4″
  • Book Font Family: Times New Roman, Arial, or Georgia.
  • Book Font Size: 12 or 14 pixels
  • Pagination: center and bottom

What Is The Best Paperback File Format?

Well, from my experience, pdf seems to be the one that causes fewer problems, mainly when you include images in your book. I also use pdf for my paperback book cover.

How Long Does Amazon Take To Revise Your Paperback?

After you publish your paperback in KDP, Amazon will revise and see if everything follows their guidelines. In case your book looks right, then after 24 to 48 your book will appear in their store. I also suggest you to immediately connect your paperback to e-book, because both will be separated. Instead, appear side by side on their sales page. For this, send a message to Amazon support and provide the links for both books. Afterward, they will take care of the rest.

Repair Broken Paperbacks (Before Theyre Too Far Gone!)


Some of your books may be in bad shape. You can use some glue along the crack of the spine to re-attach missing pages or a separated cover. A commenter at MetaFilter suggests using tacky glue. If it's a vintage book with the spine separating from the cover, you maybe able to use a warm iron to soften the glue and reflatten it.

If your cover is broken off, or if you want to preserve it even longer, you could make it a hardcover yourself or laminate it. Naturally you probably don't have enough time to do this for all your paperbacks, but it will help prolong the life of your favorites.



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