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Physical vs Digital - Which One Is Best For You?

Without trying to sound like a Grandma, there are so many different formats to read books these days. Rewind back just 10-15 years ago, and your choices were limited. Today, you can get paperback and hardback physical books, you can get eBooks, and even audiobooks, so I think it's safe to say that there is a format out there to suit pretty much everyone.

Format #1 - Paperbacks

  • They are lighter and easier to carry, making them more preferable for travelling with them
  • They're a lot cheaper to buy than hardbacks (which means you can buy more of them!)
  • They have a more traditional feel to them than holding an ebook
  • They have that classic new book smell
  • They look great on a loaded bookshelf - you can create your own little library!

  • Whilst they're easier to carry around than a hardback, you still can't carry loads around with you at once (unless of course you don't mind a dead arm!)
  • They don't sit properly if the spine is cracked
  • They're less durable than a hardback, and the cover might get creased or crinkled

Format #2 - Hardbacks

  • They often have beautiful covers - sometimes nicer than paperbacks
  • There's no denying that they look beautiful in photos
  • You get the joy of taking off the dust jacket to see what's underneath, and often they are stunning!
  • They are more durable than paperbacks
  • They look stunning on a bookshelf and it's less noticeable if you crack the spine!

  • They are the most difficult to travel with and carry around
  • The dust jackets can get annoying when left on during reading, and you (at least I do) run the risk of taking the dust jacket off and it being eaten by my dogs)
  • They are SO expensive to buy 😔

Format #3 - eBooks

  • They are the cheapest out of all the options available
  • Some websites (like NetGalley) give you free eBooks in return for a review
  • You can have HUNDREDS of books all on one small, easily transportable device
  • They can be picked up and read pretty much anywhere!
  • You don't need a bookmark!
  • You can make notes on the pages without having to write directly on the book and find some pen and paper, which is handy when writing reviews!

  • You don't get to see the pretty covers except for on the screen
  • They're trapped behind glass, which is not ideal if you love to fill up your bookshelves like I do!
  • Sometimes they're forgotten about because there's loads of them sat on a device - I'm pretty sure to hundreds of unread books on my Kindle are screaming out for me to read them
  • You can't really pass it on to a friend or family member who you think might like it

Format #4 - Audiobooks

  • Very convenient for people who are limited on time - you can get a book read to you whilst you do pretty much anything!
  • Some narrators can really bring a book to life through their storytelling
  • Simply pause the book where you like and press play again when you're ready to listen to it again!
  • You can listen to them anywhere and everywhere (so long as you have earphones!|)

  • They do tend to take a bit of focus otherwise you might miss important parts - I often find I need to be not really doing anything except walking somewhere to really get into them
  • They SO SO SOOOO expensive - like double the price of hardbacks!
  • Like eBooks, they're hard to share!

I absolutely love the way hardbacks look, but the majority of my collection consists of paperbacks, just out of ease for storage and the fact that I can fit more on my bookshelf! I also have a Kindle, and I take this with me on a daily basis and read my commute book from it as it lighter and less bulky than carrying around a physical book. I actually don't like audiobooks, but that doesn't mean they don't serve their purpose to those who enjoy them, personally I just find that they require too much concentration and I just can't seem to find the time to not be busy enough to dedicate time to listen to them!

There are different reading formats to suit every lifestyle and preference, it just depends on which one  personally suits you.

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