It feels as though, recently, the balance between acquiring ebooks and acquiring physical books has started to take shape in my house. I seem to acquire both, but distinctions are appearing regarding which books belong where.
I’ve actually physically run out of space for real books. I have four bookcases, two normal-size and two small-size. One of the normal size bookshelves is for books I’ve already read and intend to keep, while the other is for unread books. Both are full. One of the smaller ones is for hardcovers that I’ve read, or ones that I would like to read soon, and the other is for books I’d like to reread in the very near future, or series that I’ve liked a lot and want to see together all the time. All full. And I do keep buying books, when I get the opportunity. Having to move all of them, though, is a prospect that worries me, because it was difficult enough moving just the books I had a year and a half ago, and I know that when we do move again, which won’t be in the terribly distant future, all those books will present a problem.
This predicament has led to me buying more ebooks. If I want a book, and I’m not sure it’s a keeper, I tend to add the ebook to my wishlist, rather than the physical book. This is in part convenience, because I have made a rule for myself, which is that I do not buy physical books online, I only buy them in the store. I do buy ebooks online, obviously, as I have a Kindle, and I do buy US imports online, since I have no easy other way to get them, but I buy real, physical books in a real, physical store, because I want that store to stay there and buying cheap books from Amazon is not the way to accomplish that.
Anyway, back to my original point; in certain genres especially, I’m leaning towards ebooks quite heavily. Urban fantasy, for instance; the series take up space and my bookstore doesn’t tend to stock all of them at once. Romance, as well, because most of the ones I want are imports that aren’t on the shelves here anyway, and because I very rarely read them twice. Big books that are only available in hardcover? Ebook, to spare both my hands and unfortunately my wallet. This does lead to the interesting situation where I buy books twice, one ebook and one real book, because I like it so much I want to own it.
Leaning towards ebooks in any sense makes me feel vaguely uncomfortable, like I’m cheating on my masses of unread paper books. And reading an ebook doesn’t really confer the same satisfaction as taking a book off the shelves to read, so I actually find myself leaning towards reading physical books more often, where I can see a pile (temporarily) diminishing, even as I become more comfortable actually acquiring more ebooks. It’s a very strange situation that I can only imagine is going to evolve further.
Have you noticed a shift in your own preferences towards ebooks? Or away from them? Or do you still feel the same way you did when they first emerged onto the market? Let me know your thoughts!