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Ebooks or Physical Books?

Firice da Vinci

Distinct lack of Leonardo
Jun 15, 2010
Renaissance Italy
With the rise of e-readers, like Kindle and Nook, and virtual library systems I was wondering if people preferred eBooks or having a physical copy.

I like to hold a real book in my hands. Nothing's better than being able to touch the words, smell the paper, and the constant danger of a page being ripped or a glass of water spilling over a fresh edition. Despite my feelings, I predominantly read eBooks for the sake of accessibility. I visit three different virtual libraries for the vast majority of my reading material. I have a Nook, but I hardly travel enough to justify using it. It works decently for the most part, especially with the classics that are almost always available at little to no cost, but I really do love having a physical version of a book, even if it costs more.


Sep 20, 2008
Joliet, IL
Oh, I much prefer physical books. I like that physical aspect that you get with a book. I've tried an e-book and I don't like it. And a physical book is a lot less likely to be stolen then an e-reader.


つ ◕_◕ ༽つ
Nov 12, 2007
In bed
eBook, for pretty much the same reasons why I'm completely digital with my game purchasing right now on PC; I like having all my books right there in one place, easily accessible and easy to use. I love my Kindle and always make sure to take it with me pretty much wherever I go. Never know when you might need to kill some time, being able to whip out a book to read is nice. And it's not like I can carry around a Harry Potter book in my purse either!


Jan 26, 2013
Honestly, it depends on DRM. I usually prefer a DRM-free book over a physical book and I prefer a physical book over a DRM ebook.

The only exception to this is books that I read frequently, I try to keep two copies of them since physical books are still nice.


Boy Wonder
Jun 22, 2011
Behind you
Both. I've got a Kindle Paperwhite that I love very much and use quite frequently. It's incredibly convenient to have immediate access to a lot of books anywhere I go, and sites like Project Gutenberg provide a lot of great material for free. On top of that, Amazon - shady though its relationship with book publishers may be, and vaguely monopolistic as their Kindle Store may be - frequently has Kindle sales that are great for picking up newer releases.

But I would be loathe to ever abandon physical books. There's a romance to the physical page, having an actual representation of the knowledge and emotion contained within them, that I could never fully abandon. Books that I care deeply about I will always buy physical versions of: e.g., Life Itself, Roger Ebert's autobiography, or the upcoming The Winds of Winter by George R. R. Martin. Additionally, reference books - things like In the Blink of an Eye by Walter Murch or Story by Robert McKee - are really only useful if physical. Grabbing a copy and flipping through the pages to find a quick bit of advice isn't the same when those pages are digital.

Ultimately, both digital and physical books have their place. I'm no Luddite, so I won't outright reject digital, and in fact am a big fan of it. But I will always love physical books for the inherent romance of the page.


AKA Patrick
Aug 13, 2013
I guess physical books since I don't really have a way to read eBooks, but I have nothing against reading eBooks. Even if I do get a Kindle or something like that, I'll probably still continue collecting physical books along side eBooks.


Hello Sweetie!
Jun 18, 2011
Ebooks all the way for me. I've never enjoyed the feel of paper between my fingers (it just feels dry and uncomfortable), trying to prop open a book is a nightmare, physical books are also heavy to carry around or holding up when you read. And if my book falls and snaps shut, it'll take me a while to get back to the right page.

Now with ebooks, I enjoy the feel of my kindle between my fingers, it's slick, light and easy to work. It always remembers where I left off. I could pause a book for a month, even read five others in the meantime, and when I go back to the book I used to read, it would still open on the last page I read. I could carry thousands of books with me in one device, the books are generally cheaper to buy, not to mention being able to bookmark favourite sections of search for them in a quick and efficient way. So ebooks all the way with me, especially on the kindle.
Jul 24, 2011
Pennsylvania, USA
I can't stand reading with ebooks. I like to be able to carry around an actual book, partly because I like it when people are like, "Wow, that's a big book" when I'm reading one of the Song of Ice and Fire books.


didn't build that
I've always felt as though I had more ownership of physical products than digital ones. An exception might be music; I don't think of a hard drive as substantially different from a CD, though there's something fantastic about vinyl.

Books are different. There's something about a physical book you just can't duplicate with a digital book bound to proprietary devices. Even PDFs lack the weight, the smell, the age, the feel of a book. There are some books that will always stay with me--my Lord of the Rings collection, which helped me discover the joy of reading, Dune, the crumpled, dirty, coverless, cheap copy of Crime and Punishment I read for a tenth grade class that helped me develop my worldview and acquainted me with my favorite writer, and the expensive, heavy volumes that I marked up in my first (and only) year of law school.

There are few things that bind you to your past, that assist you in salvaging the long-forgotten routines of earlier years, like books.

That's the romantic angle. Practically, I love my Kindle. I've ceased buying books for now--I don't have the room--and have opted for convenience. Kindle devices themselves are more comfortable than physical books, and just as easy to read.

All of that said, I like to think I'll start picking up physical books again when I finally settle into a house of my own.


The Artist Formally Known as Deku Shroom™
Jan 21, 2011
Fun Guy
I'm a bigger fan of physical books, but definitely get why people enjoy ebooks. Just something about being able to physically turn the pages and that smell the books have that adds to the experience.
Jul 11, 2014
The Lost Woods
I love all the books!!

I do adore my Kindle because I've got over a 1000 books on it and bought maybe...10 or so of them. Everything else I got for free.

But I also love physical books because my Kindle acts up, or I don't want to bring it to work, or I'm out shopping and I see books and go crazy because books.

At the end of the day, books.


May 18, 2013
It depends on my situation.

If you're the type that travels a lot, then you need more portable stuff in general, with Kindles and stuff you have all your books in one place, but when I'm at home, I prefer the regular books.

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