How Do You Decide, eBook Or Physical Book?

June 6, 2015 Discussions 15

How do you decide what format to buy when you go to get your next reading fix? I have both physical books (paperback as well as hardback), and eBooks in my house. Hundreds of each. But I’m never sure when buying a book which one I want. One to hold in my hands and display on my shelves when I’m done, or one to stuff into my Kindle and read on the go.

Sometimes it’s an easy decision, if I have a series and the entire series is on my physical shelves, then I buy a physical copy of the new one. (Or eBook copy if all the others are on my Kindle.) If it’s a book I don’t know for sure that I’m going to like, and the eBook is only a few bucks, I’ll buy the eBook and see what I think.

But sometimes the eBook costs more than the paperback version. Which has never made sense to me. In those cases, I’ll either put it on my wishlist and use ereaderiq to track price drops, or I’ll just buy the paperback.

And occasionally, I’ll buy the eBook because I can’t get the physical copy soon enough to satisfy my reading urge. Or it’ll be on super-sale or free. And then later it’ll bug me not to have the physical copy. So I end up buying it twice.

There’s also some books/series/authors that I love so much, I purposely buy an eBook copy to go with my physical copy. Just so I can re-read that book at any time I want to. Or at least, that’s what my plan was. And then of course once I have the eBook, I never actually read it. I go back to my physical copies and read those over and over. (Or, well, I used to. When I had time for such things. Before I started this blog. *lol* )


So how do YOU decide which version of a book to buy? Do you buy multiple versions? Buy the cheaper one first just to have, and then buy the version you really wanted later? Play eenie meenie miney mo?

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15 Responses to “How Do You Decide, eBook Or Physical Book?”

    • SilvaraWilde

      That’s my issue as well, I like reading on my Kindle, but I love physical books!

      Since I can read at work when it’s slow though, I’ve been buying more eBooks lately. Easier/faster to put down the Kindle to answer the phone, than to bookmark and put down a physical book. Sure has helped cut down on my eBook TBR pile. Except that now I’m more likely to buy Kindle books to add to it since I have the ‘reading at work’ excuse!

  1. Cayt

    At this point, everything I buy is an ebook if I can help it. I have lots of physical books, I win physical books occasionally, and I pick up physical books at used bookstores and conventions. Beyond that, I’m going with the ebook. I like reading on my Kindle so much more than reading a physical book. I read faster on there, I like having the ability to see how much time I have left, and I read at night so a Kindle is great. If I end up loving a book I’ll go out and get a real copy after the fact to keep on my shelf or get signed if I ever meet the author. There’s no choice for me, unless an ebook isn’t available!
    Cayt recently posted…Review – Freaks of Nature by Wendy BrotherlinMy Profile

    • SilvaraWilde

      I’m so torn. For some books, I miss being able to easily flip back a few pages or few chapters to check on something that happened earlier if it’s on my Kindle. Too much hassle. But I love being able to see how much time is left in a book. And how much lighter my Kindle is than a hardback. And the fact that I don’t have to try to figure out where to put a new book on my shelves.

      But I also like seeing all the books on my shelves. Or don’t want to split up series/authors because I’ll forget if I own it if they’re not all in the same format. I’m also more liable to impulse buy an eBook… *laughs*

      And thus would be me dance of “I can’t decide!”

  2. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    You’ll usually find me reading multiple books at once since I like to have one ebook and one physical book going at the same time (plus an audiobook too). So when I buy or request books, I like to keep a balance. Of course, there are books that are just absolutely worth having the physical version, mostly epic fantasy hardcovers or books with illustrations, versus mass market paperbacks where it’s probably more efficient and economical for me to grab the digital version.
    Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum recently posted…Mogsy’s Bookshelf Roundup: New Books & Books I’ve ReadMy Profile

    • SilvaraWilde

      I never used to read multiple books at once. But now that I have a job that lets me read at work when we’re slow, I have a Kindle book going for work, and then a physical book that I read at home. My eBook TBR pile has shrunk a LOT because of this! (It’s also grown again as I impulse buy books “to read at work”.)

  3. Jessica Samuelsen

    I mostly do ebooks because I live in an apartment and read books like a fish breathes water! I would have no room! Though lately I’ve been winning a lot of print books for giveaways… I like that. Though I don’t know what I will do with them when I am done.
    Jessica Samuelsen recently posted…Feature FridayMy Profile

    • SilvaraWilde

      I have a stack of books that I’ve either won (ARCs) and have read and decided not to keep. Or that I somehow ended up with multiple copies of. I plan to do a giveaway on my blog to thin out the stack soon. You could do the same with any you’ve won and don’t want to keep?

      As for the ‘no room’, I totally know that feeling! I’m up to 11 floor to nearly-ceiling bookcases currently. 8 of which are full. 1 of which is half filled, and one that has all my art supply stuff. I have one empty that won’t be empty by the end of the year I’m sure, and then what will I do? Most likely figure a way to squeeze in another bookcase!

      • Elizabeth

        You can also donate your books to the local library for book sales.They can’t sell ARCs, so those are good for giveaways on the blog.
        Elizabeth recently posted…Getting AheadMy Profile

        • SilvaraWilde

          Yup. I have a number of ARCs I plan to do a giveaway with. I just haven’t actually gotten around to taking pictures and writing up a post and all.

          As for donating my personal books… I’m too much of a hoarder! With books that is. *laughs* Once they’re in my house, unless I hated the book or already have a good copy of it, it stays here. It’s like this voice in the back of my head hopping up and down and saying “mine!” I’m trying to get better about that. At 11 bookcases and counting, I’m going to have to be!

          I’ve been buying a lot more eBooks lately because the only bookstore on the island is a used one. And kind of a pain to get to. So if I buy a physical book, I get them from Amazon and usually bundle them in with other things I’m getting. Or do a big buy just of books. But it’s still a hard decision about which kind of book I want at any given moment.

  4. Elizabeth

    I don’t buy books, so that’s not an issue. If I do, it’s because I’m in the middle of nowhere with no wi-fi to download a book and ran out of books so I get a paperback at a drugstore or something. That hasn’t happened in a couple of years, though. I have about $200 in B & N gift cards (teacher gifts) so I will buy something for the NOOK app if I can’t get it through my library. I like reading ARCs that are electronic so I can highlight and make notes easily, as well as look things up online when I am reading, but in general I am still a traditionalist and go for a real book, whether it be hard cover or PB. That’s a pretty rambly answer, I know!
    Elizabeth recently posted…Getting AheadMy Profile

  5. Daniela

    I only read ebooks now since I became an “on-the-go” reader. I read here, there and everywhere (treadmill, elevator, the line in the bank) and wouldn’t not be able to do it if I carry real books with me 🙂
    Daniela recently posted…What a Week [11]My Profile

    • SilvaraWilde

      I’ve been reading more eBooks lately, though I still have a physical book going at home at the same time. And there’s some series I have to have in physical copy form. So it’s still a toss-up for me when it comes time to buy more books!

  6. Pamela Nicole

    I’d LOVE to be able to have physical copies of all the books I want, especially series. :3 But, due to unavailability in my local book stores and due to the country I live in, its just not possible to get away with it very often. As a result, I’ve noticed my book shelf is comprised of just a few standalones and a LOT of first books in sequels.

    So I go with reading most books on the kindle app on my phone, which I also LOVE, because, like Cayt said, it’s way easier.

    • SilvaraWilde

      I can’t get a lot of physical books locally because I live on an island, and the only bookstore is a used bookstore. So if I want physical books, I have to either drive 40min to the nearest bookstore, or order them online.

      Which makes me more likely to buy eBooks. I love the convenience! But I also have the issue where if I have the series started in actual physical books, I can’t continue it in eBook. Or if it’s a favorite author, I have to have physical books. So I still have deciding issues. *laughs*

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