Anime · Japanese Culture · manga

Digital VS Physical Manga: A Collectors Perspective

For as long as I can remember I have always loved books. I live in a house and come from a family of book lovers so ever since I was little I have had a constant stream of books around me  Storybooks, nonfiction, art books, magazines, you name it! This has obviously has a massive effect on my relationship I have with books as an object. I treat books (how many times can I say books in a single paragraph) as if they are sacred which might sound a little weird but one of my biggest pet peeves is when books are defaced, destroyed or just treated poorly in some way. The point I’m trying to make is, since I have always been a physical copies kind of gal, this has carried on into my manga collecting over the years. I have always loved going to book stores like Waterstones or Forbidden Planet and buying brand new manga and then proudly displaying it on my shelf once I’ve finished reading. My collection has grown and grown, to the point where I start wondering where I’m gonna keep all these books.

For a long time I have been set in my ways of not using digital services in order to read manga or any other kind of bookish content. I always told myself there is nothing better than an actual physical copy of a book (which I do still stand by). There is something almost romantic about owning and collecting books. Everything from the books smell to the feeling of the cover and pages is just something special. That being said, I have since converted to reading some manga digitally within the past few months. The turning point for me with this was when I found out about the Shonen Jump app. The Shonen Jump app allows manga fans to subscribe to and read the huge catalogue of titles which Shonen Jump have to offer. Basically it is like Crunchyroll or Netflix but Shonen Jump manga only. So, I ended up caving in and downloading Shonen Jump’s app to see if it looked any good or not. After about five minutes of scrolling through the app and seeing everything it had to offer I gotta say, I was sold and was really willing to give it a go and see if I enjoyed reading digitally or not.

Shounen Jump App

The thing is, I love collecting physical copies but things such as money and trying to collect volumes frequently have always stopped me from reading on a regular basis. It isn’t the cheapest hobby to maintain and I often go months without picking up any volumes. Then, when I’d finally get around to visiting my local book store, I would be met with an overwhelming choice of newly released manga which I wanted to try as well as a whole bunch of new releases of manga I was already reading. Feelings of frustration would well up inside of me as a reader as there was too much choice with little funds or time to fuel the hobby. This fact is probably why I see myself more as an anime watcher more than a manga reader even though I love both dearly as anime is way more accessible for me using services like Netflix and Crunchyroll. I’m well over 500 chapters deep into Shonen Jump manga at the point of writing this post and can say that it has really upped my manga reading game. I’m up to date with manga such as My Hero Academia and The Promised Neverland for the first time ever and I can read manga both on and offline making it easy for me to read on the go. I can pick up new series and drop them without having the commitment of paying full price to try out a new series (I’ll admit I’ve had manga buyers remorse on more than one occasion).

You may be wondering if I have been totally converted to being a digital reader instead of a physical copy lover. I haven’t is your answer. Well, not totally anyway. Whilst I stand firmly by the fact that physical books will always be the superior form of reading for my own personal enjoyment, digital can also be super enjoyable, convenient and a huge benefit for those who cannot splash out on physical copies all the time or are lacking physical space (myself included). Discovering the wonders of digital manga has really stepped up my reading and I have a real appreciation for the benefits of reading digitally now!

Until next time thanks for reading and I hope you’re having a great day!

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9 thoughts on “Digital VS Physical Manga: A Collectors Perspective

  1. Physical books will always have a special place for me as well. When it comes to novels or non fiction, I’ll always try and find the book and read it in physical form.
    I’ve formed a weird relationship when it comes to manga. I usually check them out online first and then buy them so I tend to read more online and than in physical form. Plus there’s more choice when buying online copies than physical copies of manga sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is so interesting to hear that you have a slightly different relationship with manga compared to regular novels and non fiction! What you say makes a lot of sense tbh and it is good that you have found something that works for you with it 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I learned a few years ago that people learn in different ways some people learn better when they listen or write or read or watch so I guess it depends upon which learning style is best for you I personally do best when I write things down while David prefers to watch things on a screen

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  3. I’ll always be a physical manga collector. But unfortunately, more and more series are going digitally only. That would be one thing, but it drives me crazy how some companies charge the same amount for a digital copy as a physical one! If I’m interested in a series, having a physical version is nearly guaranteed way for me to buy it and likely preorder it. Digital versions I’ll put off for a long time.
    But as far as subscriptions like Shonen Jump app and free MANGA Plus, yeah, those are unbeatable and makes it really hard to pay even $5 a volume when you can access so much for $2.

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    1. That is true! I know there are a few titles I’d like to read that are online only which can be annoying for me from a collectors standpoint. I don’t understand that with some companies and is probably why I have always steered clear from digital in the first place before I found this subscription. I think the subscription thing is amazing though and it has made me prioritise what kind of manga I want physically and what I’ll just read on my app!

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