I heard someone today describe vinyl records - what is/was called LP's - as cultural icons. The feel, the texture, the weight in your hands of this form of recorded music. Afficionados say that there is a richness and purity in the sound that comes from vinyl records that isn't duplicated with digital music. Some old LP's (long playing records) are worth a lot of money today. It can't be disputed that some album covers were works of art. Considerable effort was put into both front and back covers of albums that has not been duplicated on the smaller CD cases. Of course, many people go directly to digital through vehicles like iTunes.
Some people feel the same way about physical books. It's the smell, the heft, the non-battery requirement that appeals in addition to the ability to read them in the bathtub with less financial risk for butterfingers. You can magnanimously share your hardcover or paperback books with friends and have an interesting discussion as to the merits of the novel. When all interested parties have had the opportunity to borrow the book, and assuming you don't plan to re-read it in the future, there is still the possibility of re-selling the book to a second hand bookstore or even on-line and maybe recoup as much as half of the cost.
On the other hand, e-books are almost always cheaper than paperback books and certainly less expensive than hardcover ones. (I'm not going to bring up the free books as I've discussed that topic on previous posts.) You might well be able to purchase five or more e-books for the cost of one hardcover bestselling novel by a traditional publisher. For example, Si-cology 1: Tales and Wisdom from Duck Dynasty's Favourite Uncle will shortly be released for $13.49 in hardcover. Doctor Sleep: A Novel by Stephen King will be released for $17.55.
Although it can't be just about cost it might help to remember that a two hour 3-D movie will likely cost you more than either of the vinyl record, the CD, the digital album, the e-book, softcover or the hardcover book.