This is one of those loaded questions because of course the answer to this is both are great for different reasons. So now that we’ve solved that we can move on to other things, right? Well, of course I have more to say. 😉 So let’s talk about the pros and cons of physical books and ebooks.
How Ebooks Impacted My Reading Habits
For many, many, many years I was a staunch physical book supporter. I love being surrounded by books, I love the smell of books, I love reorganizing them on my shelves, I like flipping through the pages…I think you get the idea. And so I grew my library, and it grew, and grew, and grew….and I ended up with a very large TBR pile (which is a whole other story). One day my husband bought me a kindle and I was pretty indifferent to it, to be honest. If I have to carry around a kindle then I might just carry around my book, right? The only time I used it was when I was going on vacation and it would save me from having to carry multiple books–then, at least, it was convenient.
But then things changed. Smart phones! I downloaded a kindle app so that I could read an ebook (there was probably a sale or a giveaway or something that initially triggered this download) on my phone. And at first it was once in a while. Then I got an even bigger phone next time I upgraded and with a slightly larger screen I’m reading ebooks more than ever now. Why on my phone? Because I’m already carrying it with me everywhere so I don’t have to worry about carrying anything extra around with me. Also, it’s sooooo easy to sneak in some reading time when people (aka my boss) aren’t looking. 😉 And Romance! I pretty much buy ALL of my Romance books via ebook now–no more anxiety over being judged for reading Romance or buying books with shirtless men on the cover. PHEW. Also, ebooks are on sale all the time! If you’ve followed me for a while and have seen any of my book hauls then you are familiar with how helpless I am against an ebook sale. (Look, I really love a bargain, okay?)
Below are my reading stats when it comes to book format for the previous three years (this is when I started tracking such things).
Books by Format 2017
Books by Format 2018
Books by Format 2019
As you can see, my percentage of books read by ebook grew from 6% in 2017 to 44% in 2018 and then was 41% in 2019. That’s a HUGE change in my reading habits in just a year or two. Does that mean that ebooks are better though? No. Maybe more convenient but not ‘better’. Because what is ‘better’ anyway? Better for one person might not be better for someone else. There are also accessibility issues with both formats to take into consideration.
Ebooks Pros and Cons
|– Convenient to carry around|
– Can change font size for accessibility
– Often have great sale prices
– Possibly easier to sneak in reading time
– Can read them in the dark
– Easy to make notes, highlight, bookmark, search for passages
– In some cases can synch up with audiobooks
– Don’t have to see your books staring you in the face wondering when you’re going to read them
– Take up less room in your house
|– Can be pricey for new book releases (sometimes as much or more than physical book)|
– Requires the technology to access, possibly an additional device
– Regional restrictions (physical book might be easier to access in some cases)
– DRM issues for some formats
– Requires charging your device
– Doesn’t feel or smell like a book
– Might miss the thrill of turning actual pages
– Sometimes technology doesn’t work as it should
I’m focusing a bit on ebooks here only because of how much they’ve impacted my own reading, however I still really love physical books! The cool thing is that some publishers are coming out with special editions of their physical copies that make them more collectible. Also, there’s awesome cover art to show off on social media like instagram! I love the sprayed edge trend that seems to be the thing now days. I also love getting cover variants with Owlcrate or other special editions. When all is said and done I do still love to have physical books because being surrounded by them brings me comfort. I also like to have physical copies of my favorites for re-reading purposes. I have a ton of physical books and though I might purge some now and then, I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of most of my library.
To sum up, both ebooks and physical books have their good and bad points but I don’t think one is better than the other! I’m a happy reader being able to utilize both of these formats to their fullest potential. Do you like ebooks or physical books more? Why or why not? Leave a note in the comments, I’d love to chat!