Sunday, September 23, 2012

**Again, sorry for the delay in posting.  Family obligations and a family emergency took precedence over the weekend.  But better late than never, right?**

The Sunday Symposium is a weekly feature in which I'll be discussing various bookish topics and asking for your commentary, as well.  This week's topic is real books versus ebooks.

So, you may have noticed the abundance of titles I added to TBR Mountain yesterday in my IMM post.  I'm having a little trouble assuaging my guilt from all of those purchases, and it's made me take a good, hard look at my motivations for purchasing dead tree books versus stockpiling those same titles on my ereader.

You can probably already guess the reasoning behind all of my audiobook purchases:  time contraints.  I have over a thousand books on my want-to-read list, and it's growing every day.  To fit in some of those, I listen to audiobooks.  Not only does it help me reduce TBR Mountain, it also helps pass the time more quickly and more enjoyably when I'm doing mundane tasks such as commuting, exercising, and cleaning house.  If you saw my IMM post from yesterday, you also no doubt noticed that I purchased several titles for which I already own hard copies or ebooks.  I am clearly insane.  Why do I need a print and audio version of a book, you ask?  I don't.  But I bought most of those print copies when I [thought I] had more time to read them, and now I feel like I'll never catch up to read them without the aide of audiobooks.  It's sad, I know.

But what motivates me to buy a hardcover over an electronic copy?  Does the pretty cover determine the version I purchase?  Do I already own the first book in the series, and because I'm so anal-retentive/obsessive-compulsive, I have to own the rest of the series in that same format?  Did I already read the galley and decide it was a must-own book?

Yes, these are all things I take into account before deciding on the format to purchase.  And sometimes, even after careful consideration, I make the wrong choice and still end up with two versions of the same book, usually when I want to read a book very badly and can't find the time, so I purchase the audiobook.  Sometimes, I manage to catch the audio on sale, and that's great.  But more often than not, I use my pre-purchased Audible credits on these books, and that's not so good. 

I mean, it's not terrible...I am supporting the author with both purchases.  But if I looked at my reading schedule more carefully, I could probably avoid the double-purchase.  Well, except in those cases where I just loved the ebook or audiobook sooo much that I had to have the hardcover to add to my collection.  I am building my own library, after all.  Although, I will be the first to admit that I have a problem and might need an intervention soon.  :P

So, do you primarily buy your books in one format?  Which one?  Have you tried other formats, i.e. audiobooks, and found that they just weren't your cup of tea?  (I often hear that audiobooks are hard for some readers to get into, and I initially thought I'd be the same way, but I really enjoy a well-performed audiobook.)  What motivates you to purchase a book in a certain format and which format do you usually prefer?

No contest this week for The Sunday Symposium because of all of the personal stuff I've had going on, but I am currently running a giveaway for Unspoken and will have many more giveaways in the weeks to come.  The winner of The Sunday Symposium:  Putting the Adult in Young Adult post is Jenny from Mimosa Stimulus.  Congrats, Jenny!  Can't wait to see which book you pick!


  1. I like print copies cause I just like staring at the pretty covers. And as for audiobooks, I can't use them cause I just need to read the pages myself.

    1. I always thought that, too. But then I tried a free audiobook and I was hooked. :) I do like having the print copies on my shelf, though, especially the ones with really pretty covers. :)

  2. I prefer print because I don't have real ebook reader and because I like having something physical in my hands. Same with CDs - I don't even have an iTunes account. I actually like vinyl best, but most of the bands I listen don't release any. Aaaanyway, ebooks are growing on me. I got a smartphone about a year ago and discovered that there's a free kindle app. I really enjoy ebook deals and that I can get a book for 99 cent - I've found some real gems that way! It's also made me aware of a whole segment I'd never paid much attention to - indie authors. I also read my NetGalley titles on my phone.
    But since I like collecting pretty things and don't see why I should pay almost the same price for an ebook (just some file) while I can have a print copy for just a few dollars more, I usually buy the paperback. I like the covers and the graphic design of the pages (swirls and stuff if there is any). Oh, and I'm also obsessive when it comes to formats and editions. They must match.
    As for audiobooks, I don't buy them because htey are so much more expensive than the print versions (at least where I live, they're usually the equivalent of around 40$). I also find it hard to remember something I've only heard vs. something I've read. That said, I've only 'heard' the Hunger Games trilogy as an audiobook I borrowed from a friend. I think it's a great way to re-read a book and see how it's performed by the person reading it. But I think for me, audiobooks will remain the exception.

    Sorry for spamming your comments with my lengthy posts again >.<

    1. Ramble on, girl...that's the point of these get your perspective, as well. :) I used to be the same way...hard copy was the only way to go. My hubby is still that way with CDs. I've moved passed that obsession with print copies, though...sort of. I still buy hardcovers when I really enjoyed a book and loved the cover or fully expect to re-read it at some point. Plus, you're right about the cost. I would rather pay a few extra dollars and have a hard copy. But I'm starting to run out of room in my house, so I have to be more selective in which books I buy in hardcover. That, or buy a larger house. :P


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