Over the past week or so I have had the same conversation with people. Ebook or real book? Personally while I enjoy ebooks and think they are great to travel with real books are better. There is something about the smell of a brand new book and cracking the spine for the first time. It's soothing! It kind of comes close to the calming effect that the smell of walking into a Coach store has on me. That smell just gets you and all your troubles seem to go away. lol
As for whether I prefer paperback or hardcover I choose paperback. Hardcover gets very heavy when you hold it for long periods of time. So personally trade paperback is my favorite for continuous reading.
I know this will sound strange (okay maybe not as strange as saying that the smell of a new book is calming, but strange). When I read a book I really like to have access to both an ebook and a paperback copy. One of my favorite places to read is lying down in bed in the dark, which is very easy to do with my brand new ipad. Trying to read a paperback or hardcover book at night like that is just impossible. So I like to have my ebook to read in bed. Traveling by subway, I prefer not to bring my expensive ereader to get bounced around in my bag and slammed into by other people. There I prefer to have a hard copy. So if I have both I am able to get the best of both worlds and read my ebook at night and my hard copy during the day. I also tend to finish a book faster when I have both a hard and digital copy. I am not really sure why I seem to read faster when I have both, but for some reason I do.
Most people I have spoken to seem to agree while ebook is easier to travel with a hard copy book is better!
What is your opinion ebook or hard copy?