I am an avid reader. This should come as no surprise to many of you, especially if you’ve followed this blog for any length of time. Don’t believe me? Since last Saturday, I’ve read 8 books. That’s 1,670 pages total for the week. However only one of those books was an actual, physical copy. It got me thinking about how everything is going digital, not just books. We’re talking movies, tv, music, phones. Even our watches are digital.
Do you ever miss holding a real book in your hands? I know I do. I miss the smell of freshly printed books or even the musty smell of a library book. I miss the days of not being able to find a bookmark and having to use a receipt or (God forbid) dog ear the page. It’s silly I know, but it’s true. There’s something beautiful in a physical book. The different cover art, the script, the special editions with gold leaf edging…what about those collector editions that all have the same binding?! Not to mention a physical copy can be signed by the author.
Now don’t get me wrong. I absolutely LOVE my Kindle. I would be lost without it. It has my entire library at just one click. Super convenient! Almost 8 years worth of books all on one device (or at least stored in my cloud). We’re talking upwards of 1000 books, at least. There’s no way I could house that many books at home. And people I’m a rereader, so I don’t get rid of books. I don’t trade them in. They all go on my shelves. 1000 books….I can’t even picture that in my small apartment!
So how do you choose — Physical or Digital? That’s a hot topic these days whether it’s talking books or movies or even music. It’s all going digital. Having an iPod with your entire music library at the touch of a button. An eReader with your entire library plus access to all titles to buy more. And a Smart TV that allows you to plug in to Netflix, Hulu, or even the web and stream all your movies, TV shows, even music. Why have the real thing? *please note my sarcasm here*
For me, it all comes down to cost. Because I’m such an avid reader, if I’m buying a book (because honestly I hit the library up ALL THE TIME), choosing between the physical and digital depends on the price. For example, take Sarah J. Maas’s Empire of Storms which comes out in September. On Amazon, the Kindle copy of this book is $9.99 while the hardcover is $11.38. For me this is a no-brainer. I would get the hardcover. It’s only 2 dollars more and I scored the rest of the series for $15 total on BookOutlet.com around Christmas. Let’s look at another one, Janet Evanovich’s Top Secret Twenty-One. It’s been out for a couple of years. On Amazon, the Kindle copy is $8.99 while the paperback is $6.74. Again no-brainer which I’d choose. But I have an idea for publishers, one that would take away my choice, one that I think would do very well in this digital age.
Show of hands: how many of you have seen the blu-ray/dvd/digital combos that are super popular right now? All of you? Great, that makes this easy. Those combos are usually only $3-5 dollars more than buying just the blu-ray or just the dvd and you get the bonus of having multiple formats. This is the route my family takes when we are buying a movie. Now just think for a moment with me….book combos. I think it’s brilliant!!! Pay the upper price for a hardback when the book is brand new, get a unique code with your purchase to download the digital version.
Now I know there’s a lot of if’s with this idea. If publishers did this, what would stop someone from going to a book store and just printing the code? Here’s what I’m thinking: login to the platform publisher uses for digital copy, put in receipt number and purchasing store, confirms purchase and BOOM you’ve got a digital copy. Movies have been doing this for years now, music has started. Why not books?! I would hands down purchase a hardback for a few dollars more to get the digital included. Then I’d have a copy for my library at home and one for on the go reading.
Amazon is already doing this with their Kindle Matchbook program, but the number of publishers/indie authors that participate is small. My hope is that one day (soon) publishers will catch on to the digital fad and still be able to market their physical books along with the digital. What do you think? Book Combos? Digital vs. Physical? Where do you stand? Comment below
As a thank you to those that are following me on Facebook, there is a giveaway going on! One person will win an eBook (value up to $9.99) of their choice, and 5 runner-ups will receive a goody-bag with bookmarks, keychains, etc. Click the image above to enter! Good luck ☺️