Part of the reason that I recently asked about comics suggestions is that we do not have a dedicated comic book store in my town. We have a couple of bookstores, but they do not have a great comic book / graphic novel section. This means that the only way to really get comics is online and it can be a bit overwhelming to try and pick something out that way. I find this with books as well, although it can be a little bit easier with books. There is just a difference between looking online and looking in a physical store.
I look online a lot because where I live you have to. Which is part of the reason that when I travel I usually try and make it to a bookstore. I love going into a physical bookstore and being able to actually look at the books, but I love being able to order books online and use an e-reader because of the space it saves. It is an interesting balance to maintain.
The ability to physically look at books and comics can be huge. The cover can draw your eye in a way that the title does not and you can open up and read a part of the book to see what the flavor of the text is like. With comics this is even more important because the art style can be a huge factor (at least for me). If you do not like the art style it can be difficult to get through the story if the art style is distracting you.
I want to skim through books and look at what is happening. There are definitely some books and graphic novels that I have bought because I could physically look at them. There is just a difference between holding a book in your hands and being able to see the pages instead of trying to skim online where you have to press buttons to see the pages. There are also times that you cannot preview a book or comic so you just have to pick something.
Now I love the physical story and being able to search for books at the same time we already have a bunch of full bookshelves. Buying more physical books means that we have to figure out a space to put the books. Buying eBooks means that I can have multiple books on a single device. This can be great for travel as well because it means that I can be carrying multiple books with me on a trip and not need to use up all that extra space.
The part that I love about online comics is the fact that I can swipe through as I am reading and most important I can just buy the next one (if it is out) when I get to the end. It makes it easier to continue with the story and finish a whole story arc instead of having to keep going back to the store or buying all at once. Now this is also dangerous because often times with one click you can just buy a new book or comic and the next thing you know you have bought a lot more than you expected.
So both have ups and downs some of the problem is they can be antithesis to each other. If I only look and buy online then I am not supporting the physical bookstore. At the same time I do not have the space to buy all the books I want to in a physical format. So I do a blend of both, but I tend to buy more online then in a physical bookstore.