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Buying our books in hardcover or paperback is a personal choice, depending on our goal. If we want to read and build a permanant library to pass down to generations to come, we'd probably want hardcover. If we want to just read books and pass them on to others, paperback is best.
Paperback would also be a choice to take with you when traveling (to read on plane/train/bus, or read at nights to induce sleep) as they are more lightweight and take up less room.