My husband and I started to buy more Kindle books a few years ago because our bookshelves were literally starting to sag under the weight of all of our books. Moving them when we left our old house to move into this new one wasn’t very fun either.
So, we have decided that it isn’t that we won’t ever buy physical books again, but that we will only buy physical copies of books that we will want to read again. If we do pick up books at library sales that we don’t really like we can always donate them to another library sale.
I am fine with reading most books on my Kindle (ebook reader for those not familiar with it, though I’d be surprised if there was someone not familiar with it), but there are a few authors I like to read while holding a physical copy of their book.
I don’t know how to explain the difference between reading on the Kindle and reading an actual hard copy of a book. It isn’t that I think the Kindle is inferior, but I don’t feel like I really own the books, even if I have “bought” them off of Amazon. The issue I have is that unless I physically download every book I have purchased off of Amazon, I don’t really own that book. It’s still on Amazon’s servers, which could go down at any point, or which they could choose to remove books from. I’ve even heard of them removing books people have purchased because Amazon deemed the book inappropriate.
That is why I purchased a physical copy of the book Irreversible Damage by Abigail Shier. People were reporting that their digital copies were being removed from their digital clouds if they purchased it through Amazon. I don’t agree with that type of censorship and wanted to read Abigail’s message without the issue of transgenderism rising in young women, so I purchased a hard copy of the book and put it on my shelf. Who knows if or when I might need it at some point.
Side note: as far as I know, Amazon stopped removing books they disagreed with when people started to notice and threw a stink. I’m not a huge fan of Amazon for this and many other reasons, but they are the largest bookseller in the U.S. so it’s hard to completely ignore them.
Moving on from the critique of Amazon, I’ll get back to the original intent of this blog post which is that there are certain books I want physical copies of, even if I read them on a digital device.
For example, I have set out to collect all 14 of the books in The Mitford Series by Jan Karon. When I originally started those books, I read physical copies so reading a physical copy of her books holds a sentimental value to me. I did read her new releases on the Kindle but then realized I also wanted physical copies, again to be sure I don’t lose them in the future. Those are books I will read more than once.
That’s really why there are some books I want physical copies of — I know I will want to read them again and I might not always have a Kindle to read them on.
I feel like the books which need to be read in a hard copy form (paperback or hardcover) feature more polished or classic writing, which dictates that it be read like we used to read books. The writing in these books is not a waste of paper, in other words.
Books like Anne of Green Gables and all of L.M. Montgomery’s books and all of the Little House on the Prairie books should be read in paperback, for example. I also have a paperback collection of The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.
Another author whose books I need a physical copy of is Robin W. Pearson. I have read a couple of her books on Kindle, but afterward, I make sure I buy a physical copy to place on the shelf.
I have found I am doing the same with the Miss Julia series by Ann B. Ross and after a quick glance at the Pop Larkin Chronicles by H.E. Bates (written in 1958), I think I’ll probably purchase the paperbacks of these books as well.
Of course, the ultimate book I prefer to hold a physical copy of is the Bible. I find it easier to flip through the pages to the part I want to read than to skim through it on a device screen.
How about you? Are there certain authors or books you want to read in a hard copy form versus on an e-reader? Let me know in the comments.
6 thoughts on “What books do you have to have physical copies of?”
It seems that I have trouble reading really thick / detailed books or books that require the use of my brain via Kindle. I usually know right away if it’s going to be a PROBLEM and I will jump off the Kindle and find myself an inexpensive physical book and start over once that book arrives in the mail.
Middlemarch by George Eliot
Notre-Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo
Bellefleur by Joyce Carol Oates
And then there are books that I fall in love with the covers so I have to have a physical book:
The Evenings by Gerard Reve
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
There are probably other reasons but those are the ones that I can think of right now.
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Since our bookshelves are also bulging with so many books, we seldom buy a physical book any more. We decided to purge our collection last summer and tried to sell a lot (very inexpensively) at a garage sale, but only a couple of people bought a couple of books. We ended up taking the leftovers to a used book store and they bought all of them (at least 10 boxes full) for a grand total of $18. Oh well. But even though I don’t buy physical books, I still prefer reading them over Kindle. So hubby and I make regular trips to the library to satisfy that. I totally agree that I prefer reading my physical copy of the Bible to a version on an e-reader. My worn copy has many notes and marked passages in it that I just can’t enjoy doing on Kindle. 🙂
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I need to utilize our library more but I don’t like reading books that aren’t my own, in case I spill something on them.
And yes, that’s why I like a physical copy of the Bible.
I am 100% a physical book person. E-books are more convenient, take up less space, I can get free books, etc. but..when it comes down to it I often struggle to read on my Kindle. I had to cut down on my book buying as well, our tiny house was filled to the brim (I had books stashed in the cupboards among the dishes, in the pantry, just everywhere) so about 10 years ago I started only buying my favorite authors. Then after Wyatt was born, I really cut back and use the library for myself pretty exclusively. Except for those “have to own” books.. Watership Down, of course. I had to own all of the John Lewis-Stempel books. and as you mentioned, the Little House series and Anne of Green Gables books. Poetry, like Mary Oliver, Shel Silverstein, and works by Wendell Berry. To Kill a Mockingbird. I also love the Katie Daisy books just because they are so darn pretty.
My basement is actually filled with boxes of books that I don’t have room for upstairs but can’t bear to get rid of yet. I need to go through them eventually but I am not ready. What do I do with all the books gifted to me over the years??
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I have a copy of To Kill A Mockingbird too. Our attic is where all our extra books are for now.
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