Ebook Vs. Physical: Which Side Are You On? [Reading]

We all know physical books came first. Then the ebook was born… in 1971.

No, for real. I tried to look up when ebooks started and Google told me a man named Michael Hart invented the ebook. Yet, Amazon’s Kindle wasn’t a thing until 2007. I tried to dig deeper, but it was pretty confusing, so…

There’s your intro for this post.

Ebooks Vs Physical Books | Pros and Cons of Physical Books | Pros and Cons of Ebooks | Reading | Books | RachelPoli.com

Ever since e-readers became more popular, there has been an ongoing debate about whether ebooks are better than physical books.

Or, not that one is better than the other, but it’s about what people prefer and which team you’re on.



  • Ebooks are cheaper.
  • Ebooks are instant downloads so you don’t have to leave your house and talk to people.
  • They’re portable.
  • You can carry many books at once.
  • You can read in the dark.


  • You need to buy an e-reader, which can be expensive.
  • You need to make sure the batteries are charged and bring your charger with you sometimes.
  • It can break and then you lose your books (until you buy a new e-reader).
  • You don’t get the same feeling as you would with a physical book.

Physical Books


  • You can share books and let others borrow them and borrow from others.
  • You can organize and reorganize your bookshelves.
  • Physical books smell nice and you can turn the pages.
  • Physical books can have sentimental value (for example, if I gift a book I write a nice message on the inside for the person).
  • You can gift books.


  • They’re hard to carry around, bring on vacation, or stuff in your bag.
  • They’re more expensive.
  • You always need a light.
  • They can wear overtime.


As you can see, both have the same amount of pros and the same amount of cons. I honestly did not do that on purpose. I just can’t think of anything else.

I like both ebooks and physical books though. I prefer a physical copy, but I love ebooks so I can get free copies for reviews to help out authors and I can also carry a lot with me when I go on vacation.

Which side are you on? Can you think of any more pros and cons of each? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

Blog Signature | RachelPoli.comPatreon | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | GoodReads | Double JumpSign up for Rachel Poli's Newsletter and get a FREE 14-page Writing Tracker! | Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

39 thoughts on “Ebook Vs. Physical: Which Side Are You On? [Reading]

  1. I’m definitely a fan of eBooks for all of the pros that you mentioned. As to one of the cons, you said, “You need to buy an e-reader, which can be expensive.” Actually, you don’t need to buy an expensive e-reader. At least not if you already own a smartphone. I download eBooks to my iPhone and read them from that device. So no dedicated e-reader is required. I do miss the smell of physical books, though.

    • Yeah, that’s true actually. You don’t necessarily need to have an e-reader. Though I’d hate to drain my phone’s battery.
      And yeah, you can’t beat the smell of actual books, lol.

  2. I love paperbacks. I just adore the feeling of purchasing them in store, appreciating the beautiful cover, the smell (!!!), and how they look at home on the bookshelf. That said, ebooks are so useful, especially for holidays. As someone with fibromyalgia too, if my pain has flared up in my wrists I struggle to hold a book, so ebooks become the way forward. But I love both <3

    • I think paperbacks are my favorite too. Though I enjoy both and read both quite frequently. I’m glad you’re able to find a way around your pain so you can keep reading!

  3. I prefer e-books, but if I get an autographed copy of a print book, I’m very happy with them. I always make sure my books are available as both. @v@ <3

  4. As you said, both have their pros and cons. For my part though, the main reason I only go for eBooks is because they’re actually accessable to me. If I still had sight, I’d probably be just as likely to buy a physical book as an eBook. After all, I’ll buy an audio book on CD or an audio download, and only have a real preference if I’ve started to get the series in one version or another, so I’m certain it would be the same for paper books if I could. Besides, you can’t beat that bookish smell!

  5. When I’m at home, I prefer print books. But when I am out and about or traveling, I use my Kindle or phone to read.

    One downside of the Kindle I recently discovered when I joined a book club and read the ebook was I had a hard time finding passages the others referred to when we met.

    On the other hand, an unexpected perk of an ereader is that it is a lot easier to eat while reading. I usually read over lunch and it is challenging to hold a book open while trying to eat. With my Kindle, I just need one finger when I turn a page.

    • That’s true. People have told me to get textbooks on my Kindle for when I was in school and I never did. Despite it being cheaper, I needed to be able to flip through the pages to look stuff up easily.

      That’s also true. It’s hard to multitask anything while eating and ebooks make that easier.

  6. I’m kind of in the middle on this. I love my Kindle Fire and its ability to hold an entire library of material on it. But… I love my physical hardback collection of Stephen King books and I recently got back in to reading Star Wars books and I want a physical library of that too. There is something about having the book physically that appeals to me but ebooks are certainly easier to transport and move so that is where I do most of my reading.

    • I’m with you on that one. I prefer to have a physical book, but I love having all my books in one place on my Kindle. Plus it’s a lot easier when I go on vacation and such.

  7. I have both but will always prefer my paperbacks to the ebooks. I like the feel of them, the smell and I get very tired of staring at a screen all day.

    However, I do like using my tablet for free ebooks and for books I’m not sure about. If I read them and enjoy them enough, I’ll buy the papercopy as well 🙂

    • I definitely prefer the paperbacks too. Though, like I said, I enjoy both. The free ebooks are definitely a plus, lol.

      • Talking of free ebooks, since I downloaded Kobo to get a free ARC copy. I can’t believe how many free books they keep offering.

        I have to avoid opening it sometimes otherwise I’ll just spend forever downloading free books.

          • lol So far I’ve avoided BookBub for that reason. I don’t think I can dare let my TBR pile get any bigger

            • I’ve actually been ignoring their emails lately too because I’m trying to catch up. I finally got my TBR collection on my Kindle down to about 33 books, lol.

              • LOL I need to try and ease off with books too. I am getting to the point where I’m not reading ANYTHING as my anxiety has grown with all these TBR books so I am just staring at them all. I need to try and actually read some.

                • I know what you mean. I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately with books. I’m either in the mood to read or not. When I’m in the mood, there are too many books to choose from. When I choose a book, it’s not that great… it’s a cycle, lol.

  8. I’m Team Story. I have an illness and ebooks are easier when I lack the energy to hold a book. Plus, I can borrow ebooks from my library without leaving the house. That said, some books have gorgeous covers (cough cough Book of Essie), and they are more photogenic. To throw a third in the mix, I listen to ebooks in the car.

    • Ebooks are definitely the more convenient of the two. And I forgot about book pics – Ebooks can be hard for that. I actually use my iPad to take pictures of ebooks because it’s usually in color and bigger.

  9. I’m quite a sentimental person, which is why I’ll probably always prefer physical books. I do own some eBooks, though, and enjoy them as well – but nothing compares to that smell and texture of paper pages in your hands. Whether it’s an old or a new book. And that, in a way, also makes the story more real for me. I did, however, enjoy the pros and cons of both types in your post, really cool summary ;).

    • I’m with you on that. I read ebooks a lot because of BookBub and also from author review requests, but I love my paperbacks and hardcovers. Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂

Let me know your thoughts!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.