I buy a greater number of books on my Kindle, but READ a larger percentage of purchased hardcopy books.
In terms of concrete numbers:
2012: 58 e-books purchased (11 read)
2011: 49 e-books purchased (10 read)
In contrast, I bought about 10 hardcopy books each year (not counting cookbooks), and read almost all of them.
My book buying habits bode well for the book industry if indeed they reflect a larger trend–buying an e-book can be done at any time of day, with nearly-instant gratification. When I was reading the Fifty Shades of Grey and Hunger Games trilogies, I found myself buying and downloading the successive books at three o’clock in the morning. And then barreling forward with my reading.
Or if I hear about a good book during conversation or while reading an author interview. Bam. Downloaded again.
So when is it that I buy a hardcopy? When the book isn’t available as an e-book (like Octavia Butler or many of Chuck Palahniuk’s books). Or as a collectible. When the writer is a friend. Or I want the book signed. I will also buy both an e-book and hardcover copy of a book if I want the book accessible to me while traveling and/or the hardcover gets signed and it becomes precious (e.g., when Toni Morrison signed my hardcover copy of Home).
Maybe the books I buy in hardcopy are the reason I read more hardcopy books, you think. That they’re my friends’ books. Or an author whose writing I’m already familiar and already love.
But inevitably for me, it’s the tactile sensation of reading. Turning an actual page. Hearing the page turn.
The Kindle has its various attractions for me–the aforementinoed instant gratification, and the fact that I can carry an entire library with me on a plane.
I have friends who say they read more on Kindle (and anecdotally, I’ve found these friends are mostly software engineers (including my husband) who might be more attuned to reading a screen)–but for the most part my social network says they too read more hard copy books.
Do you buy more books on Kindle/as e-books? Or as hardcopy books? Why? And which format do you find more readable?