Physical vs. eBook!

We all have our preferences on how we like to read, right? Some people swear by physical copies, others champion the eBook, while others prefer to listen rather than read and opt for audiobooks. I want to start off by saying that those are all legit and wonderful ways to get into books and to get what you want out of literature. However, as I said, we all have preferences. Recently I started working in a bookshop and it’s made me realise that there aren’t too many of those left nowadays (with the rise of online shopping, and the increased popularity of eBooks and audiobooks) so I’ve been wondering, since the store I work in is always busy, what the most popular format is and why.

I turned to twitter for some help on this one and to get an idea of what my followers prefer by posting a poll. A lot of people replied to the poll and gave their reasons for their choice. Now, of course, this isn’t a particularly scientific experiment and only 227 (of the billions of people in the world) answered my poll so this definitely doesn’t serve as a concrete conclusion ๐Ÿ˜‚ But, anyway, it was really interesting for me to see what my followers thought about this and why they had a preference for one or the other.

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As you can see from the poll above, I left audiobooks out of this one. Maybe in the future I’ll revisit it to see how that format plays into things.

The outstanding result here was for the preference of reading physical books, with many people stating that there’s nothing like the smell of a new book or being able to display some gorgeous covers on your shelves. However, there was a large portion of people who voted one way but went on to tell me that they use and read both, but for different reasons. This got me thinking and led me (someone who also buys and reads both physical and eBooks) to compile some reasons why I would personally choose one format over the other.

So, here are the pros and cons that I think of (and found from the responses to my poll) for physical books and eBooks.

Physical Books:

Pros:

  • Being able to physically hold the book.
  • Being able to flip through the pages.
  • That book smell.
  • Having beautiful covers on your shelf/for decoration.
  • Having a completed series on your shelf.

Cons:

  • They’re typically more expensive.
  • They take up a lot of space.
  • It’s more effort to go and buy them/to have to wait for delivery.
  • If you’re someone who hates folding pages, having to find another way to mark your place.
  • Can’t be read in the dark.

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eBooks:

Pros:

  • Take up a lot less physical space.
  • Easier to take on commutes/travels.
  • Access to more titles instantly.
  • Increased ability to browse titles that you wouldn’t normally be able to find.
  • Easier to read when lying down.
  • You can change the font size, making life easier for people with poor eyesight.
  • Your place is saved automatically.
  • Backlit screens make it easier to read in the dark.

Cons:

  • Can’t display any particularly beautiful covers on shelves.
  • Don’t get the bookshop browsing experience.
  • Don’t get that new book smell.
  • Don’t get the same satisfaction of reading a book cover to cover.

For me, I’m a fan of both! I love the bookshop experience to browse through the shelves and find something that really draws me in, but I find eBooks much easier to read quickly and at night, and of course they usually work out much cheaper.

What about you? Do you have a preference? Are there any pros or cons that I’ve missed out here? I’d love to know which you prefer and why!

You can always find me over on instagram and twitter if youโ€™d like to discuss this further (or just fancy a book chat!)ย ๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿ“š

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26 thoughts on “Physical vs. eBook!

  1. Iโ€™ve read both ways before and, honestly, you canโ€™t beat physical books. E-books are great and convenient for holidays, but I just canโ€™t resist the feel of a physical book or going in a bookshop to pick one up!

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  2. I do have an ereader but I usually use it to read fanfiction. I just really like owning books and holding them (I know it may sound kind of weird), so I’d rather buy the physical copies. It’s almost like they’re collectibles with a whole new universe inside.

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  3. I love having physical copies of my favorites. I love taking photos for bookstagram too…. But I do LOVE the text to speech option on my kindle. I use it ALL the time, when I’m in the shower, when I’m eating. If the book I’m currently reading is a physical copy I will also read an ebook when I’m in the shower or something.

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    1. I’ve never used the text to speech option so maybe that’s something I’ll look into! I also tend to have an ebook and a physical book on the go at once as I much prefer reading ebooks in bed as it means I can lie down ๐Ÿ˜‚

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      1. Exactly! I love my kindle for reading in bed because of the backlight and because it’s easier to read lying down ๐Ÿ˜‚ This is why I if I’m wanting to review a book I’ll try and get a physical copy so I can take some pretty pictures to go with it!

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  4. I enjoy both really, I like EBooks for the convenience but I read physical books for the satisfaction. I like that people leave you alone if youโ€™re holding a physical book but if youโ€™re just on your phone you get told youโ€™re lazy. Iโ€™ve never really gotten into audio books but I might try to when I get my car! Loved this post and I found it really interesting.
    Alex x
    https://allthingsalexx.wordpress.com/

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  5. I love both, seriously canโ€™t pick which one is better because both are better in their own ways for me. I used to be a physical book type of person but ever since I received digital ARCs, Iโ€™m happy reading books whether they were physical or digital. ๐Ÿค—

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  6. I ran out of space on my bookshelves and switched to eBooks for most of my reads, but I’ll still get physical copies of my favorites! The convenience of eBooks is a huge plus too.

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  7. I prefer physical books but my Kindle is much lighter and easier to hold, especially on the day’s when my arms/joints are stiff and hurt. I try to read a physcial book during the day and an ebook on my Kindle in the evening. This year I started listening to audiobooks. As long as I can get some reading done I’m happy with anything most of the time ๐Ÿ˜Š

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    1. I find that my kindle is so much easier/more comfortable to read in bed! I haven’t really delved into the world of audiobooks yet as I feel that I’d just get distracted and not pay attention ๐Ÿ˜‚

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  8. Wonderful post and discussion, Hannah! I like both, haha, but if I had to choose, I’d say I prefer physical books. Like most people, I love the feeling of reading a book from cover to cover (and I’m weak for gorgeous covers, haha) and turning the pages! Nothing beats a good ol’ fashioned book. โ˜บ๏ธ

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  9. I have a Kindle and read physical books as well. Personally, I don’t have a preference. I think growing up without a Kindle or without any type of e-book has influenced me when it comes to reading physical books because nothing can beat that new book smell and the joy of holding an anticipated release in your hands for the very first time, but I still adore my Kindle. It’s cheaper, I can read from anywhere, it’s easier to read in bed for sure and on long journeys, because I really hate my books getting bent and destroyed in a bag. There are pros and cons to both. For me, it doesn’t matter how people are reading as long as they are, even audiobooks. This was a great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m exactly the same! I feel like both have a lot of positives and often it just depends on what mood I’m in and whether I want to display the book physically or just read it. So glad you enjoyed the post! ๐Ÿ˜Š

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  10. A lovely article to read….on the laptop !
    I prefer physical books, we have loads. I’m not quite sure what we will actually do with them all. I have boxes of books in the loft. Once I read one it goes in a pile, then into a box, then the box gets full and into the loft ! I guess I’m hoping we’ll either move into a bigger house where I can have an office (with a library of all my books…oooo that’d be fab !) or/and my children will want the books – they are mainly history books !

    I’m in awe of people that have bookshelves after bookshelves full of books.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Same here…..I have books in the loft going back years and years! They are in very good condition, hopefully my kids will enjoy in the years time come……if I let them loose now, the books would be destroyed within a few days!!

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