More thoughts on the Digital Dilemma

It’s funny how when you’re doing something that’s out of your “norm” you don’t always fully question the details. Especially when you’re just starting to explore. That’s what struck me this past weekend as I tried to settle down and spend some time catching up on some comic reading – both physical and digital.

As I mentioned before, I had finally jumped onto the iPad bandwagon mainly due to wanting a better way of managing my comics collection. DC’s big reboot was the impetus to get me thinking about where I want to spend my money and how I want to store all the books (or rather, IF I wanted to store all the books). Going through my pull list, I was a little surprised that the number of titles didn’t really change that much (even if the actual books did). I’m only reading one Marvel book (Ka-Zar, ‘natch) and that, being a mini series, will end soon. The rest were DC, Boom, and IDW titles.

Anyhow, as I finally reviewed what titles I would read physically and which I would read digitally, a realization struck me. I wasn’t saving any money. Why? Because the digital comics cost what they cost. Period. The physical comics? I get a discount as a regular subscriber at my LCS. What’s more, they are giving regular clients a huge 40% discount (as opposed to the regular 25%) on the new DCU until January. That means that for at least 4 months I would be able to sample (physically) all the new titles at less cost than buying them digitally – even if I didn’t download on same day digital release.

So, suddenly, I’m left thinking: do I go ahead and purchase a book like Wonder Woman digitally at $1.99 (a week later – because I never go to my LCS weekly at any rate) or do I get it physically for $1.79 ? Granted, of course, there are taxes involved on the actual comic, so the costs would pretty much even out. But the point in fact is that at the end of the day I can either hold SOMETHING in my hand, or have the ABILITY to read something in my hand. This might seem like a no-brainer to most, but having been a comic collector/ reader for almost 40 years, it’s still a little tough to let go of the notion of being able to strew your comics across your bedroom, or have them in piles all around you (like Uncle Scrooge and his coins).

Again, in the end, I save space by going digital. If I truly like the book I read, I can carry it around with me “forever”. If I don’t, the file will get deleted at one point but the issue will still belong to me and I can re-download it at any time (should I want to). Physically? It would either go up on a shelf for a while, or in a box in my basement…

Well there you go. This exercise of writing out my thoughts has helped me once again in my resolve to move towards the future. šŸ™‚

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