Do eBooks Count as Books you own?


Photo Credit: The Next Web

I already know that I’m going to be the only one on this side of the fence, but that’s okay. Do eBooks count as books I own? Nope. I have an Excel Spreadsheet with only the number of books I own by individual authors and not one of them is from an eBook. I also have a Word document with all of my books listed in alphabetical order and not one of them is an eBook.

I honestly have no idea why I do this. I still count eBooks toward my reading goals and I time how long it takes to read them, but for whatever reason I’ve never included them in my lists of books I own. Perhaps it’s because I have right around 180 print books and maybe 20 eBooks? I don’t know. I really just think I’m crazy. Cause there’s no real reason not to count eBooks in my own little library of books.

I just realized something. I’ve had my Kindle almost FIVE years and I just counted the number of books on it. Guess how many. Quick. You don’t know? Okay. 15. That’s it! Suffice it to say that I’m not making the switch like some other readers are so eager to. Eh. Doesn’t really matter, right? Reading is reading. Except for Twitter. That’s not reading. That’s time wasting.

When you take a count of all of your books, do you count eBooks?

13 thoughts on “Do eBooks Count as Books you own?

  1. Of course I count e-books! I’m the opposite of you though. The majority of books I buy at e-books, simply for cost effective reasons. They’re way cheaper! I still like the feeling of a book in hand though, and I’ll splurge for a hard copy of books by authors I truly enjoy or for classic books that have rave reviews.


  2. I’m an ultra numbers nerd inmost ways but I have never counted books. Well, OK, once – when I was studying music I made a list off all of my music books so i could create a curriculum that made sense. Funny, but I have at least twice as many bookshelves in my house as you have e-books yet I now read on my kindle much more often than paper – its easier on my eyes and much more convenient.


  3. You’re not alone man. I don’t count e-books either! I am still putting up a fight and haven’t been able to transition from traditional books to e-books.


  4. I love reading paperbacks, but finances at the moment don’t really allow much space to spend money on printed books, so I’ve turned to ebooks. I definitely count them as books I own. If you’ve spent something on them, then they’re yours.


  5. Interesting, but I can see a valid argument of this being that you in essence “rent” ebooks by paying for the privilege to view them on your device. I’ve owned my Kindle since Dec 2014 and I have a lot more than 15 books on it (albeit many of them on my reading list because the author’s submitted them to my blog for reviews). About 90 in all. Rather than worry about what I “own”, I prefer just to count what I’ve read or am going to read.
    Another argument is that when you own something, you have the right to do with it as you please, including sell or pass on. You can’t do that with ebooks. This also may be the future of cars and other items that are becoming more computerized.


  6. I count ebooks because most of my books are e books. I love the feel of real books but there have been times when my muscle problems have made it difficult to hold bigger books and my kindle is lighter and easier to hold. But the main reason I have more ebooks than books is because I still live with my mum. So all my books have to fit in my room and I ran out of space


  7. I would definitely count ebooks – if I counted books. I literally have no shelf space left for regular books, and have been little by little getting rid of things I know I’m never going to read again. Ebooks though? They don’t take up space in the same way, so I can pretty much buy them indefinitely without ever thinking ‘where the hell am I going to put this?’. I don’t need a shelf to put them on. I have no idea how many I have. A lot. I prefer them for portability – a huge multi-volume tome is way easier reading in ebook format (example: the complete works of Shakespeare/Edgar Allan Poe/Jules Verne/etc… counts as weightlifting in print, and I end up not reading them in that format because they’re just cumbersome to flip through.). On the other hand, anything artsy I’ll always prefer print. Type of book dictates my format preference, but never whether or not I consider it a book I own. I paid for it, period. Books with illustrations are better in print, period. Poetry – definitely print. But, a generic novel? A collection of short stories? The only time I’m still buying those in print now is either a) when they’re significantly cheaper that way, or b) when I go to an event where I have the opportunity to get a signed copy.


  8. I currently have 950 actual books (down from over 1000 two years ago when I literally could not fit another book in my cottage!) and 126 e-books on my Kindle. The regular books I have been collecting for 53 years; the e-books for only 3.5 years. I guess I’m a bit of a book-geek, then? I do count e-books as books, but that doesn’t stop me from listing them separately.

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  9. I don’t count e-books as my own but I add them up to the list of books I’ve read at my virtual library at Goodreads. I still love the feel of a real book and lovingly turning the pages. There is nothing like the smell of a brand new book in your hands.


  10. I count some ebooks, like the ones I purchased or received pdf copies of. But if I get an ebook from netgalley to review, I only have access to it for a certain number of days. Since I can never go back and read it again, I don’t consider it a book I own. I probably have about 75 ebooks, but most are the free classics from Barnes and Noble.


  11. I actually don’t count e-books. I’ll count them as books I’ve read, but not as books I own. Some books I think you can rent the e-book or buy then ‘sell’ back. Most books I physically own are ones I tend to keep for a long while unless it was an uninteresting book, or one I don’t see myself re-visiting. I think I only own 2 or 3 e-books and that’s the most I’ve own for the 3 years I’ve used the kindle app on my ipad.


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