I am a completion-ist at heart. If I’m collecting something, watching something, reading something, I want it all.
I don’t mean every obscure fan-fiction Star Trek story, or every piece of Babylon 5 paraphernalia available. But if I’m reading a series, I want every book in that series.
And here lies the quandary, do I mix my media?
I tend to split things this way: physical books (especially comic books) are for my really prized series. The best of the best. The rest is digital. But it’s the digital I actually have time to read, so some of my “best of the best” series are actually all digital (Chew for example).
Then there’s the stuff in the middle. I like to read Bleach (a manga). I own volumes 1-34 physically, but know that I do not have the shelf space to buy any more (the series is up in the 70’s now). Digital volumes of the series are actually half the price of the physical, and take up no more space than their electrons. And they’re way more likely to be read. But I’ll never make enough money from selling 1-34 to buy their digital equivalents (maybe a good number but not all), so selling my existing stock doesn’t make much sense. But I’m much more likely to actually read these books if I buy them digitally, and I buy a whole row of a shelf’s worth of space in the process.
So for the moment I have mixed media (1-34 physically and I just bought Volume 35 digitally). At least it’s a clean split.
But sometimes price can get the better of you.
If you’ve been reading a series on the Kindle, then suddenly find the next book as a paperback for 1/5th the price, do you go for it? Or do you buy the Kindle book anyway so you can have the whole series in one form?
Kindle Matchbook is a nice theoretical solution to this problem, except that you have to buy the books from Amazon, and not everything participates in that program (in fact most things don’t, Bleach doesn’t). What’d be nice is to be able to buy cheap digital copies of everything we own physically, regardless of how we got it, but that’s an impractical business model.
I don’t like buying things twice any more than the rest of us, but the urge to be able to take things with me is strong.
Maybe this is why libraries are awesome. You can read things without the burden of figuring out how to own them.