I have come to appreciate hardback more due to their durability and how pretty they are. But paperbacks are cheaper and smaller. It's hard to win, because all of those qualities are important to me! I have started to buy hardbacks if I know that I will reread the book multiple times, ensuring that it will hold up to that abuse.
I much more prefer hardback novels to softback ones. I love the feeling of actually being able to grip the back of the book; being able to grip a sturdy surface, and not a flimsy, laminated, piece of paper. The only down side to hardback novels, is that they tend to be much more expensive when compared to their softback counterparts. I suppose it's worth it in the end, though.
Depends on where I'll be reading it and how long the book is. For anything under, say, 300 pages I like a paperback (unless it's mass market, then anything under 250). Shorter books are more comfortable in paperback as they can easily be held with one hand, plus shorter books tend not to stay open as easily in hardback--no weight to keep the spine open. Anything over 450/500 pages I definitely prefer a hardback as they start getting too thick to easily hold in one hand. Between the 250/300 mark and the 450/500 mark my preference goes aesthetic and depends on the book, where it's going to go on my shelf, and whether or not I want it to match other books by the same author.
The one exception is anything that comes from the library or is more than twenty years old. Then it's only hardbacks, because paperbacks just don't have the same old book smell that hardbacks do.
paperbacks tend to be a little easier to carry around and handle, but hardcover books stay nice longer in the school environment that i carry my novels around in, the covers dont peel like paperbacks like to
1 - Hardbacks with dustcovers annoy me. I find when I read them the actual book starts to slide out of the cover while I hold it, so I now just remove the ductcover before reading. The problem with that is I then have a dustcover lying around looking messy and, in most cases, getting tarnished with little rips or stuff. It strikes me as a silly inconvenience when all I want to do is read.
2 - Paperbacks bend. I love having a fresh new book as much as anyone but I also like it when you can look at a book and see that it has been read. The more worn the spine the more the book has been read and therefore the more enjoyable it is. I look at my Discworld collection and see that Night Watch has the most heavily creased spine and that's how I know it's my favourite one. I love sitting down with a papaerback and opening it so that the two covers meet and I'm looking at just the one page and not two. It helps me feel relaxed when I read and then feel satisfied when I can see how much I've read based on spine creasing. You don't get that with hardbacks.
3 - Paperbacks are cheaper. Fairly simple reason, sure, but there you go. Paperbacks cost less and if it means waiting an extra year for say, the upcoming Discworld (Raising Steam) then I'll do it to save myself some scratch.