5 Reasons Why I Stopped Buying Books

Can you remember when you bought your last CD?

I cannot.

However, it was many years ago.

Very soon, we will won’t be buying software in a packages either. I download most of my software directly from the online app store. Even for my Mac.

Now, I am making another leap.

I have decided that I am not buying any more hard copy books.

Here’s why…

No More Books

Just like the iPod eventually killed the CD, the Kindle and the iPad are well on their way to making the physical book obsolete.

Many doubt this. Physical books will always have a place, but the eBook is quickly becoming a standard.

This past January, eBook sales exceeded hardcover book sales, more than doubling from the previous year.

One of the main clutter points in my house is a small alcove that has two bookcases in it. It is packed with books I have read over the years. And there are more books in a closet somewhere.

I am ready to make the jump to eBooks and am done with the physical clutter of traditional books.

So, here are “5 Reasons Why I Stopped Buying Books”


  1. Clutter – The #1 reason I am not buying any more books is because I do not want the physical clutter. I have hundreds of books from over the years. I reference them from time-to-time, but not as often as one would think. When I talk to clients, almost all of them have “book clutter” in their homes.
  2. Price – In today’s economy, eBooks are cheaper than hard copy books. Many people are surprised that the price difference is not that much. Sometimes only a dollar or two. Why isn’t an eBook much cheaper than a hard book? Tough question. However, I will make a prediction. I believe that the Internet and new mediums will cause a split in the industry. Traditional book pieces will continue to decline in selling point, however, expanded online content, experiences, and online courses will provide more value to buyers. You will see a low end eBook market and a higher price/value online experience market.
  3. Physical Convenience – Kindles and iPads win hands down here. I love being able to carry a dozen or more books without adding any weight or physical inconvenience. When I get on a plane, sometimes I don’t know what I will be in the mood to read. With a eBook reader, I can carry as many titles as I want.
  4. Reading Across Platforms – Even though I have had a Kindle for a few years, this is something new. Amazon now has Kindle software that runs on almost every platform I own, from my Mac to my iPad to my iPhone. I find myself reading more and more across platforms. Reading a little on my iPad, some on my Mac, and even a few pages on my iPhone while waiting somewhere. Of course, the Kindle app magically syncs all the devices to the furthest page I have read.
  5. Ability to Search and Markup – I was always writing and highlighting the books I read. In fact, if you look at the older books on my shelf, you would be hard pressed to find one that does not have yellow highlighting in it. eBook’s also allow us to highlight and add notes. While maybe not quite as satisfying as using a marker, it has the distinct advantage of making my notes and markups searchable. If I am going back to look for something, I can instantly search for it, instead of flipping back through many pages.


Love the eBook

I am making the leap.

Going forward, I am only going to buy eBooks.

The Kindle app and iBooks are my main reading tools.

I am looking forward to reading a lot more books.

And having a lot less book clutter.

Do you still buy hard copy books? Could eBooks replace your books in the near future?

Updated: Thanks to an astute reader pointed out that I said “physical” book sales. January eBook sales exceeded “hardcover” book sales. Corrected above.

86 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why I Stopped Buying Books

  1. You can sell the hard copy books but you cant sell the soft copies 😉 I agree with being able to read them across platforms but I guess I would love to have a whole bookcase in my house 🙂

    1. @Dhara Mistry I am the opposite. I have two large bookcases of old books that I would rather not have in my house. 🙂

  2. You can sell the hard copy books but you cant sell the soft copies 😉 I agree with being able to read them across platforms but I guess I would love to have a whole bookcase in my house 🙂

  3. @Dhara Mistry I am the opposite. I have two large bookcases of old books that I would rather not have in my house. 🙂

  4. Its had for me to imagine a time when I won’t prefer paper books. I bought a kindle..it sits on the shelf ignored. I just don’t find them nor computers as easy to read on. I like that my book is always the same, it won’t change with technology or run out of batteries mid way through. I can take it camping and not have to plug it in. I like how books smell and feel and I find that I remember things far far better with physical pages involved.

  5. I’ve owned a Kindle DX for almost two years. I would NEVER consider getting rid of my hardcovers. I am actually still building my library with the Everyman’s Library and Library of America editions. Manuscripts and books have been the fundamental methods of communication for many centuries, that will never end, no matter what Amazon and other may say to sell a Kindle or Nook.

  6. When I can pick up a used book for less than the price of an ebook (including shipping) at sites like Amazon, THEN I’ll consider going to ebooks

  7. Yes, ebooks are well on their way to replacing physical books in my life. I have a huge personal library of over three thousand physical books. Yet… I find myself repurchasing the same titles so that I can read them in the much more convenient digital format. I don’t consider ‘real’ books to be clutter, I still love the way they look on the shelves. I just prefer to read the digital format.

  8. I got locked out of my old google account and therefore my old amazon account. Now, I have absolutely no way of accessing the 50 or so books I had on that Kindle account. When you buy content that way, you don’t really own it, and you can lose access to it. So, I still use my new kindle account for some books, but any books that are important to me and are highly re-readable, I want the physical copy.

  9. I just moved cross country and had to leave behind thousands of dollars’ worth of reference books…OUCH. I’m literally in a grieving process, it’s that hard. But I’ll be starting my PhD program in two weeks, and I’ve discovered a lot of the books I used to have are available for free download on PDF, and it’s taking a lot of the pain away. I kept a handful of books only, and ones that I really want to replace, if I can do so economically and they aren’t available otherwise, I will over time. I’ve already reordered a few, but it won’t be many. I’m on the ebook bandwagon for life now, and I believe the decluttering mentally, emotionally and physically will do me good.

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