Feral Friday - Ebooks Vs Printed Books

Yay! Once again it is Friday! And our calendars tell us it’s time to go feral (like we needed the reminder). As Fridayis the day we talk about bookish topics, we thought we would expand on our recent Q&A post.

This week, we’re talking about ebooks versus printed books:

Kristy’s say:

The debate of the old-trusted paper-filled book or the technologically advanced ebook is a good one, as there are so many pros and cons to both these forms of books - but as much as I love ebooks, I love actual physical books more – I always will.

Sure, there are many advantages to ebooks, like being able to buy the them online from the comfort of your home and have them instantly virtually delivered (who doesn’t like to go shopping in their pyjamas), having them to read the instant they are released rather than waiting for stock to arrive in store, being able to read them on multiple devices, the portability of them in your e-reader or phone, no need to carry around a book – or multiple books if you are away from home, being able to read on your device without trying to find to lay comfortably on your couch/ bed but still being able to hold the book. There are just so many advantages to ebooks.

But the con: you can’t see the book, you can’t feel it, you can’t smell the pages, and you can’t put it on my bookcase.

I like having a book in my possession; to be able to flick through the pages, look at cover, to feel and smell the pages, to put it on my bookcase so it can look ever so pretty. Even if I read a book in ebook format, I always purchase the physical book to keep on my shelf… so, it’s also cheaper for me to buy the physical book originally rather than buy both. :)

Melissa’s say:

I’ll be honest - I can’t really definitively answer this one clearly. As a gemini, I like change. Which means that for 6 months at a time I will read nothing but printed books. And then get tired of carrying around a book in my bag at all times, or get tired of finishing a book on the go and having nothing else to read on me at the time, and so the next 6 months will be all about the ebooks. Both have very clear and definite pros and cons about them.

There will always be a need for printed books. My bookshelves are filled with them, and they’re my pride and joy. I love rearranging my shelves and I love looking over at them knowing that these are some of my most prized possessions. Then there’s the feeling of the pages, and the pretty covers. The smell of new books itself is one reason why books will never be completely phased out! And there’s something very comforting about going to bed all rugged up with a book in hand, that the ipad or ereader doesn’t give you in my opinion.

That being said, books are cumbersome and can be a burden to carry around all the time. They are heavy and take up a lot of space in our handbags when we’re not at home! This is where the ereaders I think, trump books. My ipad is my ereader currently, and I always have that on me. I have a whole LIBRARY full of books on my ipad, and so at any one time I have hundreds of books to choose from to read, which I really enjoy. Especially when I finish one read whilst I am at work, and want to move straight to the next (other book bloggers - you get this), and I can do this on my kindle without the need of packing my backup book in my bag as well.

I can read my ebooks in the dark with ease, and I feel the convenience of this allows me to physically get through more books each year. And the other huge perk is of course that with ARC’s being approved all the time, I am able to read these as ebooks on the go, and it makes it all so much more convenient. It is a lifesaver having all my ARC’s and reads on me whenever I am travelling or not at home for extended periods of time - I am still productive.

So whilst I will always have a soft spot in my heart for printed books, ebooks have a place in my world also - and I doubt this will ever change.


We would really love your opinion on this topic - do you prefer ebooks or physical books? Are there any specific reasons you prefer (or dislike) one or the other? Please let us know in your comments below.


What do you think?

  • I prefer physical books, but really can’t judge fairly because I have never tried reading an ebook. Honestly, a couple months ago I used to cringe at the thought of an ebook because it’s just not real! But, the more I think about it the more I think that it really isn’t a big deal. Yes, I much rather had something I can touch, feel, and grow old with. I need those physical books to fill up my dream library. But, they aren’t always convenient. Even now I am constantly obsessed with how I’m going to transport my unread books to London with me when I go to study there in September. I can’t leave them all behind, but shipping them or packing them will cost money! It’d be so much easier and convenient if they were on an ereader. And then of course, there’s days like today where I go to work with a book to read during my break, only to realize the book I grabbed was one I finished the day before. If I had an ereader I could just pull up a new one but nope. I had nothing except the book I already read.

    So I guess what I’m trying to say is that physical books win for me, but ebooks put up a great fight that is hard to resist. (PS. Sorry this comment is so long and rambly ;) )

    • Melissa says:

      Physical books are special, I agree!! But the more books I end up owning, the less space I have - where you can have as many ebooks as you want and it takes up no space at all. So definitely a benefit there!

      You should try reading an ebook and see how you feel about it? That’s how I started, and it wasn’t so bad at all. ;) I got hooked on the fact that ebooks tell you the percentage you’re into the book too.

  • Carolyn says:

    I like having physical books on my bookshelves. I have 2 massive bookcases almost full, but I do like reading using my iPad. I like the convenience of it. You can take it anywhere and not worry about the book getting damaged. Also carrying around a book generally meant I had to get paperbacks but I love hard cover books.

    I’ve also been known to switch part way through reading a book. I will start on the iPad then change and go “old school” meaning I pick up the actual book and read from that before switching back again.

    I guess I’m going to stay sitting in the fence on this one. Now if only publishers would provide a free electronic copy when you bought the physical book I would be in book heaven

    • Melissa says:

      Oh I agree Carolyn!!! Buying a book and getting a free ecopy would be fantastic for me, because I too like to switch over, even part way through a book. I enjoy different forms of reading depending on where I am at the time and what’s more convenient. So that’d be awesome.
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  • I really love my e-reader, I do, but nothing can beat the paperbacks. I love the feeling of a book in my hand and how books look on my shelves. I’m a bookcollector, so e-books can’t compare to paperbacks. They just don’t feel real enough, but I certainly can’t live without my e-reader anymore :)

  • I prefer a physical copy. In all the ways, ebooks are better. They are cheaper, better for the environment, and easier to carry around, but they don’t feel.. real, you know? I like to see my books are stacked up on a shelf looking pretty :P It’s a sentimental thing more than anything. But also, I don’t feel comfortable reading ebooks. I don’t have a kindle, so I either read them on the ipad or my laptop, and both are exhausting for me eyes.

    Great post, though!

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