Does anyone else do this other than me? I have my latest book ready for beta readers. So, I design, format, and print them as paperbacks for my local readers. Sure, If I self-publish I have to do this anyway, but I may actually send the MS for this book around to some agents first so I don't really need to yet.
For the reader its easier for them than a bulky manuscript if they are not e-book friendly. But it also has the advantage that they can scribble in it, mark it up and write me notes, easier than an e-book. They also get it back to keep as a souvenir when I’m done.
But on further self examination there’s another reason. A emotional psychological one. I get to see the book as a real object, not just pixels on a screen or a story in my head. It becomes a real entity. It occupies space, has weight, and smells bookish. It forces me to commit to making it the best I can make it, it reflects upon my identity as a writer and contributes to my feeling accomplishment. A step on the path to what end I don’t know, but now I see one of the bricks in that path.