Friday, June 17, 2011

Bibliophile v. Voracious Reader?

Recently, I was at a party and got to talking to a group of people about the fact that I'm a novelist. The talk turned to the topic of ebooks, and one of the ladies in the group said, "I'm such a bibliophile. I can't stand the thought of ebooks!"

And that statement got me to thinking. I'm a bibliophile...I loooove my books. I love the feel of them, I love the design that goes into making them unique from one another. I'm such a geek that I wax rhapsodic over font choice and interior design, along with typesetting. Yes, books are a thing of beauty.

But I'm also a voracious reader (or, at least, I was until I began writing full-time. Now, I'm not as much of a voracious reader as I used to be). And being a voracious reader--at least in theory--I love my Kindle.

Those of you who have ereaders know all of the reasons I love my Kindle--the convenience, the transportability, the financial benefits and the instant gratification of downloading the next book in the series as soon as I've finished the previous one. Yep. Love my Kindle.

So does the fact that I love my Kindle make me less of a true bibliophile? Can we voracious readers, who go through book after book after book, co-exist with those who love books so much they won't touch an ereader?

Are we different animals, we voracious readers versus the true bibliophiles?

I wonder, too, if bibliophiles might differ from voracious readers in another way too... and that is, in the number of actual books they read. Do they buy fewer books, read less, but concentrate on the beauty, feel and smell of the book in hand? I confess... I've bought many many a book because of its beauty and design... and a good number of them are still sitting, unread, on my shelves.

However, my voracious reading side doesn't care what's on the cover or how the words are typeset (which is good, because that art is pretty much lost in ebook formats).... All my voracious reading side cares about is a good story.

So... what do you think? Are bibliophiles different animals from voracious readers? Are those of us who are bibliophiles selling out when we buy/use an ereader? Or can we co-exist peacefully?

Is a bibliophile different from a voracious reader?

Comment below and YES, there is a giveaway! (It's Friday...there must be a giveaway!) Comment below about this topic, your thoughts, and I'll pick TWO winners from US commenters (only) for copies of one of my books.

And by the way...Night Betrayed is still offered at $2.99 for ebooks right now! So if you haven't had a chance to try this series, now's your chance. Kindle. BN.

(Don't you think the guy looks a bit like Nathan Fillion?)

21 comments:

Donna said...

I couldn't agree more with your thoughts. One of my happiest places is being surrounded by books. The look, the feel and the smell. Love it. But it is nice to go on a trip and only have to pack one Nook instead of 5 or 6 books.

SandyG265 said...

I love books. But I only have a limited amount of space so I finally bought a Kindle. And it's more convienient for travelling.

Sara M said...

I love print books. I like holding a book as I read. I like being able to glimpse the cover throughout the story. I like being able to count how many pages are in the chapter I'm about to devour (I like to know if I'll be able to finish it on my lunch break). But I don't want an e-reader. So I'm definitely a bibliophile. But I'd also like to think that I'm a voracious reader as well.

I have nothing against e-readers. But when I was playing around with the display Kindle at Target, I found that the weird flash to black thing it does when you "turn the page" bothered my eyes more than I thought it would. It's not as bad as reading on a computer screen for long periods of time, but it still bothered me. I've talked to a lot of Kindle owners that weren't even aware that this flash happened until after I mentioned it, and many people say it's really easy to get used to, but for now I'm going to listen to my eyes.

I definitely don't think those who choose e-readers are selling out. As long as you're reading and enjoying it, I say call yourself whatever you want. :)

Sara M

Ashleigh said...

I am one of those people who recoils when people talk about e-readers, but I also see the practicality in them. After lugging fifteen books back from a month long stint in London, I can see how especially for travel Kindles and their ilk make a lot of sense.

I'm one of those odd in bewteen people though. I understand the practicality of the e-reader, but I can't let go of my books. To compound that, I am also a voracious reader which means my room is overflowing in novels. But thankfully, that's what the library is for. I think we can co-exist though. There's no reason e-readers and paperbacks can't exist peacefully in the same plane.

CrystalGB said...

I love print books and they are my first choice when reading. I do have an ereader but I don't read as much on it as I do a paperback.

Sharon said...

what a cool post. The two can be different, but you can be both. I am. I love my kindle it opens up a whole new world of reading you can't tap into without an ereader. I also miss book covers terribly so!

We can live together though . I read mainly ebooks and Katie (hey, Katie!) my buddie over at I Smell Sheep only reads paper copies. She sends me ebooks and keeps the paper ones :)

(don't enter me, cause I have copies of your books)

Shae said...

I love both an actual book and my ereader. I find that I read more on my ereader and then if I really love the book I have to buy it for my shelf :) It is also awesome that my library has such a wide selection of books available for my ereader.

Casey H said...

I love, love, love books! And while I don't have a eReader because I can't afford one (being a broke college student and all) but I do have the Kindle app on my phone and I have to admit it's easier to pull out my phone, scroll through all my ebooks, and read one.

c4casey(at)comcast(dot)net

Amy said...

Who cares if they're different; they're book lovers just the same! :-P

I love print books and also love my Nook. Bibliophiles and voracious readers can definitely co-exist peacefully LOL.

Barbara E. said...

I have to say I consider myself to be a voracious reader, and I don't really care what's on the cover, but I haven't given up my print books yet and I'm not sure if I ever will. I haven't succumbed yet to the lure of the electronic, but that doesn't mean if I had one I wouldn't use it. I just can't see shelling out the money when I have so many print books still to read. I don't think bibliophiles are all that different from voracious readers, they both love books and reading and I think they can co-exist very well.

Barbed1951 at aol dot com

Chelsea B. said...

I think that it doesn't metter how you're reading, just that you are :-)
When I think bibliophiles, I think of a librian, excitedly checking out every book before carefully placing it on the shelf. And when I think Voracious reader, I think of an in-a-hurry costomer, striding down isles, skimming various summaries and grabbing the one's that catch their eye. So, in my mind, yes. We can deffinitely co-exist peacefully. Because you can't have one without the other! :-)

Rosalie Lario said...

Times are changing. Just 8 months ago I was preaching to whomever would listen that I would be the last person left holding a book in my hand. Guess what I got last month? An ereader. I still love print books, especially since I'm a lounging in the bath kind of reader. But nothing beats the ereader for practicality. I have a whole library in one device, and for a book addict, that's too hard to pass up.

Barbara said...

I have loved books since before I could read and my mom would read to us at bedtime and if we were especially good we could hold the book. Books are like comfort food, they make me feel safe and remind me of home. They are places to hide when things are not going well and places to celebrate and treat myself when things are great. That being said I adore my ereader..I mean it is right up there with appliances I can't live without ie my dishwasher :) I take it EVERYWHERE it is pocket size and fits perfectly in my purse. I take it out every time I have a spare minute. My ereader has also introduced me to new authors and genres. (I would not have purchased the books in a store..online I am much more impulsive) Bibliophile...yes..addicted to books yes...a book consuming monster definitely...Just someone who loves the written word in whatever format I can get it.
I salute the authors of the world for making my life more enjoyable. (and Joss you are right up there..can't wait for the next Envy book!)

StacieDM said...

I would describe myself as both. I love the convenience of my Kindle. I've been on an ebook kick lately. I haven't read many paper books for the last few weeks. I do love my paper books though. I had to buy a second bookcase for my TBR pile a few months ago. I never get rid of my books so I've already run out of room.

user1123 AT comcast DOT net

ilona said...

I'm both but first and foremost I am a voracious reader :D

I love the feel of print books as well as stuff like font, cover art and even the smell of the leather on a really good old book :D

However I couldn't live without my e-reader as I can carry so many lovely stories around with me at all times :D

JenM said...

I'm sorry but I guess I don't understand why people who love actual print books feel they are somehow superior to people who read ebooks. For me, it's the words, the story, and the emotions in books that matter, not the physical medium that they are conveyed through. Just because I prefer reading on an ebook reader, does this somehow make me less of a booklover (the definition of bibliophile) than someone who prefer to hold a physical book in their hands? I don't think so.

Cylver said...

I am both a bibliophile and a voracious reader. I've been following several series for years, and for them, when the next book comes along, I get the actual book. There's something about the permanence of print that appeals to me.

But since getting a Kindle, I've fallen in love with the convenience of having several books with me at all times, and I really like being able to sample any book before I commit to buying. Plus, best of all, through my Kindle I've been introduced to the work of so many writers I might never have tried otherwise, and met so many great characters!

cheesecake.thief59 said...

Anyone who reads (books or ebooks) is a voracious reader. That being said, I don't konw if I can ever make myself buy an ereader. I know it would probably be easier to carry one around instead of lugging around a bag of books yet I don't want to stop holding books anytime soon.

cheesecake.thief59(at)gmail(dot)com

Sheree said...

After I got a Kindle, I had it constantly in my hand for a week, but after that, I went back to reading paper books. I find that I read paper and ebooks differently. Whereas I enjoy the convenience of the Kindle, I can only read novellas and short stories on it. With a full-length paper book, I generally read it in 2 days. With a full-length ebook, it takes me so long to finish that I would forget the beginning of the ebook. Also, I remember a book by the cover and since the Kindle doesn't show the covers, I often forget whether I have read a particular ebook and, more importantly, what it was about. Nowadays, I'm checking my emails on the Kindle way more than reading ebooks.

Jessica@a GREAT read said...

No. I don't think that. I mean in technical terms one might argue bibliophiles shouldn't like ereaders or anything. But I am a bibliophile! I love my books. If I do loan them out people know by now to take care of them because I will go psycho if they ruin it. (Okay not really psycho!)

I also have a kindle myself that I use every now and then. Especially when I get a good deal on a book that's releasing in hardcover and the price is cheaper on Kindle vs me using my Borders coupons and rewards.

So really if you love both ebooks and real books you're still a bibliophile and can be a voracious reader as well. It doesn't matter what format you read in more.

Chrisbails said...

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christinebails@yahoo.com