Lola’s Ramblings is a feature on my blog Lola’s Reviews where I ramble on about a book related or a non-book related topic. These are discussion type of posts where I talk about a topic and readers can weigh in on the topic in the comments. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like tours, cover reveals, memes, challenges, recaps or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are discussions of a certain topic and my point of view on them. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Designs.
This topic just suddenly popped up in my head when I finished reading a book on my ipad and decided I wanted to read the next book on my ipad as well, which got me thinking about different formats to own books and how I decide which format to buy/ read. Usually I buy a book in one format and read that format, sometimes I buy multiple formats, but that doesn’t happen too often. I decided to mention it as buy/ read as some books you receive for review and don’t technically buy. I have a few general rules for how I decide which format to acquire and after that I will mention per format which books I own/buy in that format. I have four different formats in which I read books: hardcopy, paperback, epub e-copy (Kobo) and mobi e-copy (ipad).
How do I Decide in Which Format to read/ buy a book?
- What’s the cheapest to buy. Usually I buy the cheapest format. If the e-copy is cheaper than a physical copy I buy the e-copy, if the physical copy is cheaper I buy that. I usually don’t care too much in which format I buy a book, unless it’s an author I read before and already have a preferred format.
- What’s the easiest to buy. Often the cheapest is also the easiest, but not always. For example I can’t buy books from amazon, so while that might be the cheapest option I still can’t buy books there. Or how Netgalley usually doesn’t provide epub files, so I read most netgalley books on my ipad with kindle app.
- Same format for one author. The first format I read a book by an author in often determines in what format I will read their next books as well. I sort of associate that format with the author and it feels weird to read that author in a different format. For this purpose I often do make the distinction between reading on my ipad or kobo, but not between paperback and hardcopy. Like Kelley Armstrong I buy her books in physical format, but it doesn’t matter if that’s paperback or hardcopy. I only make an exception to this rule if I can get a review copy or free copy.
- Favourite authors. I often make an exception for my favourite authors, I like to own physical copies for books by my favourite authors so I can have them on my shelves, so I buy physical copies. Although some of my favourite authors I still buy e-copies from or I get e-copies for review and then I stay with that and ma okay with it. If I receive an e-copy for review I am not likely to buy a physical copy as well as I simply can’t afford that and rather spend my money on books I haven’t read yet.
- One format. Unless I have a very specific reason to ignore this I usually only get one format of a book. There are some exceptions, like when I receive a book for review and get send multiple e-formats. Then I might put the book on both e-readers or decide ahead on which device to read it and only put the book on that device.
- Cover. The cover can sometimes infuence which format I buy, I’ve been know to buy books in paperback, because the cover is so pretty and I want to see it in real life and hold the book. While with ugly covers or a cover I don’t care about I am more likely to buy an e-copy.
There are exceptions to these rules, but this usually how I decide in which format to buy or read a book. Sometimes it’s also a matter of feeling or whatever I am in the mood for, especially when I have a book on both my kobo and ipad. When I am scrolling through books on my ipad and book A catches my attention I probably read it there, while if it happens to catch my attention on my Kobo I read it there.
In general I prefer paperbacks over hardcopies, so I don’t own many hardcopies. I prefer the feel of paperbacks, they are lighter and cheaper, so when I have the choice I usually go for paperback if I want a physical copy of a book. I think the only hardcopies I own fall into three categories: either I got the hardcopy really cheap, I only could get the hardcopy at that time or the hardcopy releases earlier. I have one or two hardcopies I got very cheap at book events I once visited. Then the hardcopies I got as there was no other format, those are mostly my collection of dutch fantasy books as back then I only bought my books in bookstores and they often only sold hardcopies of those books. Then the last category, hardcopies because they release earlier than the paperback, those are mostly Kelley Armstrong books as her hardcopies release sometimes a year earlier than the paperbacks and in that case I find it worht it to spend more so I can read those books earlier as she’s one of my favourite authors.
I usually buy paperbacks when I want a book in phsyical copy as I prefer paperback to hardcopies. The book I buy in physical format are either because I really want it on my shelf (because it’s a favourite author or pretty cover) or because the paperback is cheaper than the e-copy. If the e-copy is pricier, I go for the cheaper option namely the paperback. This is the case with a lot of mass market paperback format, which are pretty cheap, while the e-copies can actually be pricier in those cases. I also own a lot of paperback copies from the time I didn’t have an e-reader yet, back then I almost only bought paperbacks, so I still have a huge collection of paperbacks.
Epub e-copy (Kobo)
When I buy e-books I almost only buy them in epub format. I do most of my reading on my Kobo, but recently also started reading on my ipad. I actually for the first time ever converted an epub I bought into mobi so I could read it on my ipad as I read the previous book by that author on my ipad. Most e-copies I receive from authors for review are also in epub file. It’s listed as my prefered format in my review policy. Books by my favourite authors that I don’t buy in physical copy will always be read in epub I prefer reading on my Kobo as it has an e-ink screen, which reads comfortable every time of the day, while my ipad only reads comfortable when it’s light outside.
Mobi e-copy (ipad)
My ipad mostly contains books I got through netgalley and amazon freebies. As netgalley often doesn’t have an epub format I always send those to my kindle now and usually read there. There are also freebies I grab from amazon that are on my ipad, I usually dont’want to go through the hassle of converting those, so I just read them on my ipad. There are some books I have on both my ipad and Kobo, which most likely are freebies or books I got for review that got distrubuted in an e-mail with all formats. I like reading on my ipad, but only read on it during the day when I am having brekafast and dinner as I dont mind if my ipad get’s a bit dirty. I read books with the kindle app.