Book Buying: Formats

As a booklover I read pretty much all book formats. From hardbacks to paperbacks and ebooks (both epub and Kindle), I read them all. (I have never bought an audio book though…) If you’re like me, how do you decide what format you’re going to purchase? In my internal debate while buying a book, these are just a few of the many questions I consider:

How much do I need this book?

Do I have the restraint to wait until I can stop by the bookstore? Or the restraint to wait for a book to be shipped to Hawaii (because shipping to Hawaii always takes forever!)? How desperate am I for this book?!? 

If I’m really desperate and need it RIGHT AT THAT MOMENT, I’ll buy the e-book. That’s like the only way to instantaneously (or as close to) get the book without leaving wherever I am. I think that’s pretty awesome. It also doesn’t really matter to me whether I get it for my Barnes and Noble Nook or my Amazon Kindle. Usually it’s just which ever is cheaper or the one that’s currently charged and ready for use.

How pretty is the book?

Okay… So I think all booklovers know the AWESOMENESS of a pretty cover. Extra props to the design team if it includes a pretty naked hardback, pretty end papers, matching spines, and/or MAPS! Pretty books (that I enjoy reading) are books that I’ll want to display in my home library. So if the cover is pretty, I’m definitely purchasing a physical copy of the book. Pretty book covers just don’t look the same as an e-book.

What does the book cost?

Of course, cost has to come into play. If I’m short on cash, I’m going to buy whatever format is the cheapest. That means scouring all the websites. Comparing prices of ebooks vs. hardcover vs. paperback. Searching to see if I have a coupon. & If needed, I will also search my local library or the library’s Overdrive to see if it’s available there.

I’m a post graduate with a mountain of college loans to pay and trying to save to move out of my childhood home in the outrageously expesive Hawaii housing market. That leaves very little money for books… Sadly, money does not grow on trees.

Where am I going to be reading this book?

This is very important. If I’m looking for a beach read, I guarantee, it’s not going to be a hardback book. (Unless, I borrowed it from the library.) If I’m looking for a vacation read that requires luggage, it also most likely won’t be a hardback book. Let’s face it, hardbacks are the prettiest but also the hardest format to travel with. So if I plan on reading the book at home, I don’t mind buying the hardback. If I’m reading it anywhere else, I’m better off with a paperback copy or the ebook.

Is this book by a favorite author or a book I absolutely love?

Favorite authors and favorite books pretty throw the entire book buying process out the window. Most likely, I’ll end up with MULTIPLE COPIES of said book in pretty much all the formats. I’ll have to be ready for all the rereading situations afterall. & Heavenforbid a special edition of the book comes out. Just take all my money!

So…. As you can see, buying books can be a bit complicated. Do you ever have a difficult internal debate on what format to buy? Are you guilty of buying multiple copies of a book? Can you relate? Feel free to let me know! In the mean time, I think I hear a book calling my name and my wallet crying in the background… 😛

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