walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Peeping Readers? Book Voyeurs?

For what seemed forever, but was probably less than two years, there was a strain of commentary in newsmedia about how wonderful printed books are to hold in the hand and to smell. After spending a lot of time openly mocking this kind of blog post/article in this blog, I took to calling that particular refrain "book huffing", and the perpetrators "book huffers". I need a new term, however, because I new refrain is popping, at least in my perception. The idea of books as physical decoration, things to look at with desire, affection, etc.

Here is today's instantiation, courtesy Nate Hoffelder over at The Digital Reader


"Because a printed book is a physical object that I can forever admire on my shelf. I can’t admire a file on a smartphone or tablet. I personally have more than 160 printed books and less than 20 on my Kindle." (Actually, I sort of feel like I'm being trolled right at the moment.) Then a picture of some art on the writer's arm is displayed as further evidence of the author's need to commit to the p-form.

Also, I _wish_ I could say with a straight face that I have more than 160 printed books. I mean, I _do_, but it would be a deceptive statement.

R. wants to call this a book fetish, but I don't think that's quite right. Something about the loving gaze directed at the object of one's affection is more appropriate. Fetish sounds too, er, hands on.

ETA: I cannot believe I forgot this. I distracted myself by wondering if I was being trolled with this piece. "The print vs. e-book question had never once been asked prior to the 2000s." I had an hours long argument with a very nice young Seventh Day Adventist man (well, we were young then; it was the early 1990s. We're middle aged now.) who firmly believed that within a very short period of time, everyone would be reading exclusively e-books. I argued that I was basically the only person I knew who had read more than one book all the way through on a computer and it was a miserable experience. If I couldn't tolerate it yet, there was no way The Masses were going to switch (remember how expensive PCs were then? And people think iPads cost so much now!) any time soon. In any event, the question was definitely asked long before the 2000s. Also, people reading books in mobi format on various PDA devices.
Tags: e-book coverage

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