HC, PB, MTI? A Guide To Help You When Purchasing Books Online

Purchasing book online? It seems to get more common in Indonesia nowadays. No traffic jam to contend with. A bit of advice, though, make sure you know what you get when purchasing books online. I know some of us can get a little OCD in regards to our book collection. When you buy book of a series, chances are you want the whole series to be of the same size and edition. I have a few of these mismatched series and they’re quite an eyesore.


Imagine how pretty it is when  matching books are displayed. Same height, similar artwork, and coordinated. So, when you purchase books online, make sure you get the edition correctly. There may be some codes or terms in the book description on the site that can help you. Here are some of them.

  • HC or hardcover. Also: hardback. Usually, books in hardcover are larger. Bound in leather, cloth or cardboard, these books are durable, pricier and look good on your shelf. Usually, for a book I know I’m going to love, hardcover will be my choice. Please observe the above picture. My Michael Scott’s Alchemyst series comprises mostly of hardcovers.
  • PB or paperback. Also: trade paperback. Bound in flexible paper, paperback books are usually the cheaper version of the HC.  Size may be similar or smaller than HC. All my Heroes of Olympus books are paperbacks, be it in different sizes.
  • MMPB or mass market paperback. This is the inexpensive version of paperback. Usually come in smaller size than trade paperback. Meant to be sold in newsstands, supermarkets as well as bookstores. For a book collector looking to amassing huge number of books, this could be the way to go: get more MMPBs. Some MMPBs don’t have illustrations that may have been present in their HC/PB editions, though.
  • MTI or movie tie in. The book in this format is in direct relation to a movie. Usually the cover will have a photography/still from the movie, and some kind of tagline along the way of “Now A Major Motion Picture”. MTI editions come out near the release date of the movie. So, you might have to wait years to get a complete series, depending on when the movies release. In some cases, you won’t get the complete series because the movie doesn’t get picked up for sequels. Remember Eragon and City of Bones? Yeah, good luck completing your MTI on those series. On a side note, I really want to get Divergent series MTIs. The covers are simply amazing! I hope for Insurgent MTI the cover will feature Theo James!

Different editions/bindings can have different covers as well. This may contribute to your decision making process. 🙂

What’s your usual pick when you buy a book? Any other bindings/editions I didn’t mention? Please leave a comment and let me know!


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