E-Book vs. Physical Book

As I mentioned in my post for The Versatile Blogger Award, I’ve only just recently started to buy and read physical books. I’ve realized that there are definite benefits to both, so I thought I’d list out a few benefits of reading an E-Book, such as on a Kindle, and reading a physical book.


E-Book Benefits:

  1. It’s easier to buy the books – books are bought online and they are delivered instantly.
  2. An E-Reader is more convenient to carry around to classes and for traveling.
  3. E-Book copies are less expensive than physical books, sometimes drastically so.
  4. Bookmarking and highlighting pages are hassle-free.
  5. I’m able to bring several books with me on-the-go.


Physical Book Benefits:

  1. The smell and feel of a newly printed (or even used) book is irreplaceable.
  2. I get to display it on my bookshelf.
  3. It has more of a sentimental value to it.
  4. Physical books are easier to borrow from and lend to friends.
  5. I have to decide between buying the hardback or paperback version – There are pros and cons to choosing between these too.

Ultimately, I would prefer reading the physical copy of a book than on a Kindle. However, the Kindle provides so many convenient benefits, that I don’t think I’ll ever stop reading on it. For instance, I know that I’ll be carrying around my Kindle when I go on business trips and vacations in the future. The Kindle never truly replaces the physical book for me though, so I’ll try to buy a physical copy of a book, especially if I know I’m not traveling anytime soon, or if I know I want to re-read a certain book for a while.

If you don’t have an E-Reader, I would definitely recommend getting one, even if it’s just a free app for your computer or mobile device! It’s allowed me to read so many more books than if I only stuck to buying physical copies of the book, and it really can be much more convenient.

What do you think about reading an E-Book vs. reading a physical copy of a book?

44 thoughts on “E-Book vs. Physical Book

  1. Lois

    I can definitely see how an e-reader is convenient for those that travel quite often. Plus it’s cost effective and that’s always a plus haha. Personally though I just love a physical copy. I feel like it’s easier for me to get sucked into the book when I have the physical copy and emotionally I tend to get more invested if that makes any sense.

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      I completely agree with getting more emotionally invested in physical books!! I had forgotten how quickly I could get sucked into books because I’ve been solely reading on my Kindle for so long – as I’ve been reading more physical books lately, I’m remembering how instantaneous my attachment to the book becomes.

      Having the book as a physical reminder on a bookshelf reinforces those feelings felt at the beginning and throughout reading the book, which is also what makes physical books so irreplaceable (although E-Books definitely have their benefits too)!

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      I’ve always identified with Belle as my inner Disney princess too!! It really is the best feeling having bookshelves filled with previously read books and recalling the roller coaster of emotions! It’s also exciting having to-be-read books already physically set up, just waiting to be picked up 🙂

  2. Eve Messenger

    Finally, over this past year, I embraced the idea of reading books on an e-reader. I still prefer physical books, but I like that I can read e-books even in dim lighting or on my smartphone if I’ve left my Kindle device at home. Oh, and the Kindle book deals are really good sometimes, so I get more books that way.

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      A huge plus of reading on my Kindle is being able to read under poor lighting! My Kindle’s cover actually has a light that comes with it, which is very convenient. I also love being able to read on my Kindle, then open up that same book on my phone or computer, and being automatically sent to where I had left off on my Kindle. That all being said, I still prefer my physical books too!

  3. Ishita

    I got a bit lucky with some giveaway wins in the past few weeks, so I have been so taken in with the idea of .. uh… ripping open bookmail covers and peeking inside.. lol.. I have never owned or bought too many physical copies due to cost+space reasons… but I have to say, it does carry a nostalgia and sentimental value that e-books obviously dont. I mean, I am more likely to remember and narrate everything about my first physical book purchases of enid blytons and nancy drews than my first one-click download of an e-book from the app store (and I dont remember which one it was..)

    Having said that, I do recognize how easy and cost effective e-books makes things for publishers, bloggers and authors to promote and disperse books for quick reviews and blog tours.

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      I’m so jealous – I’ve haven’t won a giveaway yet!! I get my physical books from my local used bookstore and Amazon. It’s definitely exciting seeing a newly arrived box of books at my doorstep.

      You make a great point about not remembering your first e-book. I really wish I could say what mine was, but I honestly can’t remember either. On the other hand, my first physical books are very special to me, and I’ll always remember them.

  4. booksblurbsandbeyond

    I love physical books, but I’ve been using my e-reader more often. E-books are much cheaper which is a huge plus point for a semi broke student. I do try to buy physical books whenever possible.

      1. booksblurbsandbeyond

        Exactly, E-books are a lifesaver when it comes to prices. Most of my physical books are presents and some are ones I treated myself with. I recently found out about bookoutlet and it is the perfect place for a student (granted the student doesn’t go crazy seeing the prices…I almost went crazy).

  5. JohnRH

    I love physical books and trust they will never go out of style. E-books are great for obtaining the free download of the humongous number of superb ‘classics’ that have been written over the centuries and are now available to the public domain.

  6. mrericness

    The thing that truly converted me to my Kindle was the ability to borrow E-books from my local network of libraries. This convenience combined with the saved space and increased portability is something I found really valuable. I will always have certain books I want physically on my shelf though.

      1. mrericness

        I’ve had some great luck (no wait) and some not so great luck (2-3 plus weeks). I’ve noticed that with newer books, my library network tends to have more copies available than it does for older ones so fortunately this seems to be a concept that is being embraced. I usually keep a few books in my queue with staggered wait times and the only problem I’ve had is when I end up with two unexpectedly becoming available at the same time!

  7. Shellah

    I am with you, I love both and also don’t ever think I will give up my Kindle. Another issue is non-fiction. To me, non-fiction is better in non digital form. What do you think of audio books?

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      I’ve actually never listened to an audio book! The thought of listening to a book doesn’t fully appeal to me because I have a tendency to tune out when listening to things, such as podcasts. I might venture into audio books someday though, to try it out. What about you?

      1. Shellah

        I recently fell in love with them. What I like to do is speed the reading up so that my mind does not have a chance to wander. Then I set the timer function and fall asleep to the book. The next day, I rewind a little and repeat. I don’t think I could listen while doing other things like they show in commercials, I would miss too much of the book.

  8. coridoesbooks

    I feel like almost every book blog or book channel I come across says they prefer physical books, and I’m the exact opposite. I love physical books, don’t get me wrong. But when I read a book for the first time, unless it’s part of a series I know I love or something, it is almost always a borrowed copy on my Kindle. If I really love a book, if it’s a new favorite, I buy it afterward. Then I put it on my shelf and… I probably never touch it. Similar to how people might display sports memorabilia (like a baseball) and never actually use it. I like buying it to support the author and because it looks nice on my shelf. But if I’m going to reread it… it’s probably still going to be a borrowed library copy on my Kindle! It’s so much easier to just rest it on my lap or on the table or balance it in bed. I’m a Kindler all the way!

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      That’s so interesting! For the past four years, I’ve only read on my Kindle, so I definitely understand the appeal and convenience of it. I would even say that I forgot about my preference for physical books, until I picked some up shortly before starting this blog. You make a great point about having books as decoration. I probably won’t be re-reading most of my physical books, but for me, I love seeing them on my shelf and being reminded of the emotions I went through when I read them. However that all being said, I think it’s great that you have a preference for reading on your Kindle – you’re going to save so much more money and space than me!

  9. Nicola

    I love my ereader, but I use it exclusively for free books – library books and works in the public domain. I have this mental block about paying for a book and not being able to hold it (which is funny, considering I’m a web developer so *I* get paid for digital work :P). And then I grumble about Amazon not delivering my pre-orders promptly 😉

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      That’s a great point – I’d also prefer to have a physical copy of a book if I’m paying for it anyways. I usually only buy the E-Book version of a book if 1) I’m traveling, so I won’t be able to carry around physical books, or 2) I’m not sure if I’ll like the book, and the E-Book version is significantly cheaper than a physical copy.

  10. Nessa

    I like physical copies because I can collect them, or something. and have them placed on my bookshelf. Also, I find it easier to read with physical copies because I got jsed to them.

    Ebooks also has its benefits, like those you mentioned. They’re pretty convenient, especially when it comes to digital arcs. But to me it can’t compare to the awesomeness of reading and owning physical copies.

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      That’s a great point! Digital ARCs are great because it’s much less costly for publishers and authors, which therefore makes them more accessible to more book reviewers. Of course, I’d prefer a physical copy of a review book, but review copies are great in any format.

  11. saigon3

    I love the smell of the physical books, seeing them all lined up in their beautiful colors on the shelf. But for the love of travelling I am so glad they invented e-books. But I also love how we can leave the physical copies and getting new-old ones from cafes/hostels sharing the love with other people. – Filyn

  12. noteablepad

    I must say that though I own a Kindle, I still prefer physical books – the smell, the feeling of closure after turning the last page- it’s so fulfilling and irreplaceable. E-readers are convenient, but you will always find me lugging along my books. 😀

  13. TheBookishUnderdog

    Ah, I was going to do a post like this, you beat me to it! XD I love ebooks too. I do love to have physical books so that I can display them, but I actually prefer the act of reading on a tablet – I can eat while reading, it’s so much easier to read in bed, and I find it’s actually easier on my eyes than a real book.

    How do you choose whether to buy a physical or a digital copy? I usually go by price and cover. If it’s dirt cheap as an ebook, I’ll buy that, but if it’s only a little bit more money or has a really beautiful cover, I’ll get the physical book instead. I also often find books I love on my kindle and then buy a physical copy so I can display it on my shelves. Do you do that too?

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      Eating while reading really is significantly easier when reading an E-Book compared to a physical book! It’s just hard keeping a physical book’s pages open with one hand while using the other to eat.

      I buy the physical copy of a book if it’s on a large sale, or if I am fairly confident that I’ll enjoy the book from ratings and reviews on Goodreads. On the flip side, I’ll buy the digital copy if I’m unsure if I’ll enjoy the book, or if I’ll be traveling for a while and want to read that book in that time frame. I actually don’t tend to re-buy a book to get the physical copy if I already have the E-Book because I usually use that money to buy a book that I haven’t read yet instead.

      Feel free to still make a post like this on your blog! You can link this post if you want!

  14. Silver Screenings

    I’m definitely a low-tech old-school reader. I do have an e-Reader, and like the convenience and the ability to carry dozens of books in one device. However, I love the thrill of buying an actual book, and the tactile qualities of an actual book.

    This is a great post and fabulous discussion!

  15. jdm

    I prefer e-book (ideally with audible companion when possible). Paper books just take me longer to read through. I believe this is because I have a kindle app on every device I own so matter where I am my library of books is there with me.

  16. MyBookJacket

    I avoid reading eBooks under all circumstances unless it’s a comic edition and I’m getting a preview of. My ophthalmologist recommends against it. Not to mention I really get headaches ten minutes into reading an eBook. Moreover, I hate all technology (as you can see the irony of this is lost on me) so I’m old fashioned in loving the books. *hugs her bookshelf*

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      Haha, I absolutely love my bookshelf and physical books too! I hope actual books won’t ever grow obsolete with technology becoming more prevalent. Reading a physical book is definitely a different experience than reading an E-Book.

  17. theimmortalreaders

    Even though eBooks do cost much less, I would rather spend more money buying physical copies so that I can help increase physical book sales. I just love the feeling of an actual book in my hands and never want eBooks to take over them.

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      I agree – I’d never want to see physical books get completely replaced by E-Books! I absolutely love having the physical copy of a book on my shelf to look at and pick up when I read it. The experience of actually turning pages also makes me feel more immersed in the book.

  18. fhyyyyyy

    I totally agree with the things you pointed out. I am more in love with physical books than with ebooks but ebooks are super convenient. Like for example, i really couldnt use physical books to read during night (I’m a night owl lol) even with a lamp, I think it’s more easier for me to read in my smartphone.

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      Haha yeah, E-Books can be extremely convenient! I’m also a night owl, especially when it comes to reading since it’s usually the only time of the day when I can get some reading time in. It’s definitely much easier reading on my Kindle compared to reading a physical book at night since my Kindle has a built-in reading light. I think I’m actually going to pick up a clip-on reading light so that I can attach that to my physical books too!

What are your thoughts?