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Old 09-13-2013, 09:23 AM   #1
Ninjalawyer
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Shifting back to physical books...

Just like the title of the thread says, I've slowly been shifting my reading back to physical books lately. Has this been the case for anyone else?

It wasn't an intentional thing for me; over the last few months I just seem to have stopped impulse buying so many ebooks and buying more physical books. Before, if I heard about a book that sounded interesting, I would head to Kobo to check the price and see if a coupon code applied. Usually the price would be fairly low and I'd buy even where a coupon code didn't apply (it usually did). Now though, the price on Kobo and other ebook stores is typically higher than the price of the physical book, and I can't even remember the last book I wanted to buy that was eligible for a Kobo coupon.

Here's a couple recent examples:
  • The Fault in Our Stars - $15.99 for the epub (Kobo), but $10.99 for the hardcover at Costco.
  • Fooled by Randomness - $16.99 for the epub (Kobo), but $15.00 for the paperback at Chapters.ca
  • Embassytown - $12.99 for the epub (Kobo), but $6 from a Coles (local bookstore) for the hardcover (this one is a little unfair since the hardcover was obviously overstock)

I realize it has always been the case that sometimes epubs would cost more than a physical edition. However, lately it seems like everybook I'm interested in is priced higher for the epub than the physical book.
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:27 AM   #2
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Nope. I don't like reading paper books. They are heavy, bulky, and uncomfortable. As long as the prices are what I am comfortable paying, I am fine with it.

I have felt this way from day one but I know many people feel differently.
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:31 AM   #3
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Yeah, I've found myself drifting back towards physical books in recent months. Now that I've had an ereader for nearly 3 years, some of the novelty has worn off, and maybe some nostalgia for dead tree books has crept in. So I've found myself buying some hardcovers and paperbacks but still buying plenty of ebooks as well. Maybe 60% ebooks, 40% physical. Real books, even paperbacks, seem now to me like an aesthetically pleasing luxury item.

Plus you're right, on price books are very competitive, especially factoring in used books. And also, the fact that I can get just about any physical book through interlibrary loan, whereas my library's ebook selection unfortunately seems to consist mainly of young adult paranormal romance.
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:37 AM   #4
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If I can't get it at the library (including the ebook selection), next stop is luzme.com . TFioS is currently $3.99 at a few US stores, and $10.99 CAD at Sony Canada.
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninjalawyer View Post
Just like the title of the thread says, I've slowly been shifting my reading back to physical books lately. Has this been the case for anyone else?
I've been going back and forth for a few years now. For the most part, I prefer reading on an ereader but price is an issue. That's particularly true since the vast majority of books that I've bought in the past have been second hand.

One thing that I would suggest doing is making the library your friend. You are likely paying for them through your property taxes, and they are there for everyone to use. This is true for ebooks and pbooks.
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:41 AM   #6
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I went back to pbooks as well for a while.
I bought my first Kindle only at the beginning of last year and after the initial excitement, I somehow read less and less on it. I started to buy pbooks again, because if I buy them used they are way, WAY cheaper than ebooks.
Lately, I have started to read ebooks again, though - I think I got an ebook bundle from somewhere, remembered how nice ebooks are and then realized I could actually read on LCD screens - since then, I'm back to reading ebooks but I might throw in a pbook once in a while just because it is cheaper..
Also, I just have to think about having to move apartments again in the near future and ebooks are suddenly even more appealing...
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:44 AM   #7
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I am an expat in Belgium so if I want or not I either read ebooks or nothing. I cannot just walk into a bookstore and buy books as I don't read neither in French nor Dutch. Ereader is really a God sent thing for me.

That said, I prefer ebooks. I don't see myself going to a bookstore back in my country and suddenly start buying paper books (what's with the horrible font they use here and there?) The case I bought for my Kindle and the automatic light on gives me the feeling of reading a real book anyway.
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:49 AM   #8
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I never stopped reading pbooks; in fact I intentionally look for a pbook to read after I've read a few ebooks. Someday the type on pbooks is going to be too small for me to read comfortably, and I dread that day. As far as pricing, I sometimes find used books for $3.99 or so with Amazon Prime free shipping. I love that! Just as I love finding a good promotion on an ebook. You sited The Fault in Our Stars as an example. On Amazon US, the ebook is $3.99 right now.

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Old 09-13-2013, 10:26 AM   #9
jgaiser
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Originally Posted by ProfCrash View Post
Nope. I don't like reading paper books. They are heavy, bulky, and uncomfortable. As long as the prices are what I am comfortable paying, I am fine with it.
Yep.. Same here. If the prices for an ebook are too much higher than the pbook, I end up buying neither.

Too many advantages to ebooks for me to return to paper.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:28 AM   #10
DiapDealer
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For me, the attraction of the ebook is almost 100% about the ability to hear about, become interested in, locate, purchase, and start reading all in the same hour.

"What am I in the mood for?"
"Oh, that's right... it doesn't really matter. I can be reading almost anything in the world in a matter of minutes!"

That is an added value I'm willing to pay extra for (even if I'm rarely asked to do so).

Doesn't mean I have the least trouble reading a pbook if that's the only option available.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 09-13-2013 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:28 AM   #11
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To me it's the 'story' that's important, not the book, so I buy where I find it cheapest. Of course I'm practical-I don't spend a lot of time searching if the 1st place I find it has a reasonable price. Other than used books that meant ebooks until about 5 years ago, pbooks since, and now back to ebooks in the past year.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:32 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ProfCrash View Post
Nope. I don't like reading paper books. They are heavy, bulky, and uncomfortable. As long as the prices are what I am comfortable paying, I am fine with it.

I have felt this way from day one but I know many people feel differently.
This is true for me too. I prefer just about everything about ebooks, easier to hold, read & store, convenience of buying etc. Despite that, the only difference is I'm still price sensitive so unless I really, really want the book, I'll only buy it if its cheaper than the physical book.

So in the examples posted, I'd only buy one of them.

The Fault in Our Stars £4.99 ebook, £3.49 paperback
Fooled by Randomness £7.99 ebook, £6.99 paperback
Embassytown £3.59 ebook, £5.75 paperback
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:36 AM   #13
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85% of the books I want to read aren't available yet as e-books. That's the main thing.

Of those books, about 50% aren't easily adapted to the epub format (bilingual editions, intricate layouts, macrostructures dependent on page flipping, extensive footnotes, etc.). That's incredibly sad. I worry about the survival of elaborately designed books.

Even so, I read ebooks predominantly at this point and strive to replace as many of my physical books as I can with electronic editions.

Here's why:

Space. I've lived in houses so cluttered with books that getting to the front door was like crawling through a crowd of teetering fragile pagodas. I can't ever do that again. It just isn't healthy.

So, yes, I prefer physical books in terms of the variety of formats. But their physicality is a tremendous burden and, what's more, ebooks are as slender and hypoallergenic as the e-reader one chooses and strives to keep clean.

Last edited by Prestidigitweeze; 09-13-2013 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:42 AM   #14
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If I can't get it at the library (including the ebook selection), next stop is luzme.com . TFioS is currently $3.99 at a few US stores, and $10.99 CAD at Sony Canada.
I agree with Meeera, on using luzme.com. I have enough books in my to read library, that if something catches my interest, I simply set an alert in luzme.com. If/when I get a price drop alert, I evaluate it to determine if it is at the price I am willing to pay, if not, I simply just leave the alert in place and wait.

Last edited by Lyor; 09-13-2013 at 10:43 AM. Reason: correction
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:47 AM   #15
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Nope, sticking with ebooks. If the ebook I want is too high a price, I just move on to something else on my TBR that is at a better price.
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