Physical Books, E-Books, and Audiobooks, Oh My!

10As technology advances, more ways for reading become available. First physical books, then e-books, then audiobooks. When e-books first came out, people thought they would drive out the usage of physical books, blah blah blah.

Each type has their usage, which any book lover would know. Here, I’ll be stating pros and cons of each, and stating my opinion. Feel free to comment your own!

Physical Books


  • nice aesthetic for pictures
  • you know what you have and can highlight, tab, write, to your hearts content and STILL get that cool look
  • people could see the cover and ask about it and you could introduce them to a REALLY cool book in the process
  • easy on the eyes because screens can hurt your eyesight
  • cheaper than audiobooks


  • they can be pretty bulky at times
  • also very heavy
  • if you have a lot of them they take up a lot of room
  • if you forget your book you are DOOMED
  • can also be expensive depending on the book



  • you can have hundreds of books within your phone or e-reader
  • they’re less costly then physical books AND audiobooks
  • you can adjust the type and size to suit you
  • you can also adjust the background color


  • the screens can also hurt your eyes
  • you don’t get the pretty aesthetic of physical books
  • this may just be me, but I use my books as a fidget tool, like paging through or just holding it. I don’t get the same comfort from an e-book.
  • if you get an e-reader, they can be pretty expensive



  • you can still “read” while doing activities like exercising, driving, or other hands-on activities
  • as long as you have head phones and something to play the disc/recording, then you’re all good


  • if you’re like me, audiobooks are very frustrating. I can’t follow them with just the audio, and I need to follow along in a book or I have no idea whats going on
  • they are MUCH more costly than e-books and physical books combined, if you get the disc version

(I don’t know much about audiobooks, mainly because of my first con point.)

My opinions: 

I would never be able to decide which I liked more between e-books and physical books. Phsycial books give me the physical comfort needed, as well as provides a fidget object for me to focus on. E-books, on the other hand, let me customize my reading experience to better conform to me; I read with a green or sepia background, and the type going from extra large to extra small depending on my mood. I also find myself being able to read in more places with my phone and an e-book, rather than lugging around a thick, hardcover novel. While physical books provide a needed comfort, e-books provide an ability to customize novels in able for them to be read easier.

On the other hand, I get really anxious in situations, and if I didn’t have a book, I’d end up scratching my arm raw. I would flip the pages against my hand, or tap it. If I only had my phone, it wouldn’t end well.

My opinion on audiobooks greatly differs from my e-book and physical book opinion. I have problems following along with just audio, so while having an audio narrator along with the actual book really enhances the experience, audio alone would leave me with a headache and no idea where in the book I was.

What about you? What personal preferences do you have that affect the way you read?

8 thoughts on “Physical Books, E-Books, and Audiobooks, Oh My!

  1. It depends on my availability and mood. I’m a big mood reader and that extends to how I read too. If I’m not feeling reading on my phone, then I’ll just pick up a hard copy book. I have become really fond of audiobooks lately though. I haven’t bought any before because I use\d Overdrive (which a lot of other library systems in the US use. I really recommend checking it out. They have ebooks too) so it’s really nice. I listen to them almost all the time when I’m out doing errands or house work.

    • Same here! I usually try to have one physical and one ebook going, but the one that I finish first is entirely up to my mood. And yes, Overdrive is amazing!! That’s actually where I found out I couldn’t follow audiobooks at all.

  2. Because of space constraints, I have become a total e-book fan. I wasn’t buying many books last year because I kept worrying about how I’m going to move (I move so much.) I actually even wrote a post about my opinion on e-books because I’m so in love with them.

    I do like the idea of physical copies for a house library but that would be something for the future when I have a steady job and I know that I’ll be staying in one place for a longer time. I’ll also most probably read the e-book first and then decide whether it is a possible re-read and possible lend-to-friends-because-so-good book.

    • I had that same idea too, of only getting books if I would reread or if they were favorites. It kinda feel through though…It’s smart to keep most of your library digital, mainly because it’s cheaper and easier to handle. I’ll have to check out your post, thank you!