Easterner, they are two very
I have both, so I'll give you my two cents worth.
The M1 carbine essentially shoots a pistol round and is light, fast handling and magazine fed. It's capable of putting many rounds downrange quickly. It fires the .30 carbine round.
The M1 is a battle rifle. It's heavier, shoots the .30-06 round and takes a clip of eight rounds, so it's got less capacity than the carbine. However, the .30-06 is a devastatingly effective caliber.
I own a Springfield M1 Garand manufactured in 1943 and an Inland M1 carbine also manufactured in 1943. If I had to choose and could only keep one, I'd keep the Garand. There is absolutely nothing like it.
As far as recoil, that's a very subjective matter. I've owned a DSA FAL (.308) that kicked a heck of a lot harder. I also had a Springfield Armory M1A Scout Squad, (.308 again) that was a dream to shoot. (Unfortunately, finances forced me to sell it.)
I'm not a big guy, almost 60 and have arthritis. I can shoot my Garand all day and not feel it. Personally, I think a good running M1 is a soft shooting rifle. Keep it clean and lubricated, make sure the gas tube and piston are clean and replace the recoil spring.
I'll echo what was already said, if you can afford it, buy both. You won't regret owning either one.