Week two! And what better way to star than with a double entendre click bait of a title? Let’s get to the topic at hand… There I go again!
August 8: Do you prefer hardcover, softcover, or electronic books? What are the benefits of your preference?
The easy answer, it depends! How about that for a non-committal answer right there! Allow me to explain.
I love role-playing books; and can prove it by the sheer amount of them I collect. Yes and I use the term collect because there are many I get to read, understand the mechanics of the system, because I enjoy the lore, some GURPS books are just great for the information they have. A hardcover book is often a better quality product, and you pay for that premium, be it in color or black and white. Softcover books are often less resistant to wear and tear. I have plenty of both in my collection, and if I had to choose out of all the options presented in the question I would say, digital! Let me tell you why.
Space is a premium, more and more I read in my digital devices, it’s convenient, practical and the price point is usually just right. I’m still reluctant to pay the same price I would pay for a physical book for a digital copy, unless it comes with some serious bells and whistles. Which coincidentally brings me to my second point; I get most novels digitally currently and read then on my Kindle app. I also do all of my game prep and run my game sessions using my digital devices, so having digital copies of the game books I’m using is a must.
By the same token I’ve been spoiled by using some terrifically put together digital files, with great hypertexts and easy usability, such as the products of Paizo, Pinnacle and Kobold Press, to name a few! Books that don’t have this are of lesser use to me. Digital support through in other forms, such as the Pathfinder Reference Document or the Pathfinder SRD, apps for the games, etc. have spoiled me. One of my biggest complains is not having digital copies of the Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition core rulebooks for my campaign. Of course there is the 5e SRD, but it’s no enough!
So to summarize, so far, for books I’ll use at the gaming table, I usually prefer digital. Paradoxically I usually want a print copy of the game available as well so players can have a handy reference and just in case technology fails, a real-life back up! If they are book I’m taking to and from the gaming sessions, I’d much prefer a hardcover for durability. I don’t mind buying both since I’ll get my money’s worth out of them.
Everyday books I simply want to peruse I’ll buy in digital. For books I want to collect for some special reason, perhaps nostalgia, or they cover a topic or are for a game I won’t play immediately, but are of interest to me, I’ll go the physical route, softcover if that is less expensive, hardcover if the topic is of particular importance. It’s more of a case by case basis than a hard and fast rule.
Unless it’s The Book of Erotic Fantasy, which you can only get that in hardcover! Well with that lame joke goes all the respectability left in this post, time to wrap it up.
There you go, that’s my rationale on this subject. Where do you stand on the issue? Let us know in the comments, or share a link to your own post so our readers can go there. See you tomorrow!