I'm a big fan of ebooks. As an expat, it's a no-brainer. If I want to read in English, I can either buy from a limited and overpriced selection, or access virtually any novel online.
But: I still have physical books. When I relocated to Bulgaria, one of the first things I did was buy a few paperbacks. To me, they're an essential part of making a place feel like home. It's not just that I like the weight and feel of a physical book; there's something about stumbling upon them in the real world that matters to me.
I only buy books that I've already read, and I keep a list of books I want to own but haven't had the chance to pick up yet. It's pretty stupid, actually, if I give it any thought. Any time I move, I'll have to lug these heavy tomes around. And abandoning my little home-library in Kyiv was one of the more materialistically hard things about leaving. They get dusty, and dog-eared, and coffee-stained.
But I still buy them.
Those of us who work in the UX field always think about making things convenient. Yet we often forget about the other human reactions that go into decision making.
With e-libraries, the world is literally at my fingertips. But I like being able to loan out a book to a friend. I like taking one to the park, or on the balcony, and knowing the sun glare won't prevent me from reading. I like seeing my bookmark advance through the pages.
We live in a world that prioritizes high speed and low effort. I prioritise those things. A good book (or app or website or product) should be quick easy to use; I'm not saying we should move away from those. But life is more than convenience. Nostalgia, comfort, quirks, memories, etc., etc. all play into our daily decisions.
That's one of my goals for 2023: Making choices out of joy and expectation instead of convenience and habit.