Books On Sale

Book Format Prejudice and eBook Sales

First: NEWS! Which isn't new news, but I'm still thinking about it. 

Literary god Jonathan Franzen decided that ebooks are horrible and immoral and paper books have a tangible longevity that is superior to digital.

Yeah, whatever. Here's my question: I think there needs to be a term for book format prejudice, and it works both ways. There are snide comments made about paper by ebook lovers, and equally snide Franzenesque comments about digital from those who prefer paper. Folks who like audiobooks also report snide comments, so there has to be a term to sum them all up, one that's as inclusive and descriptive as possible. I mean, do people grouse about large-print books being for all those amoral people who can't see the .8 font size of a mass market paperback? It's ridiculous.

Theresa Romain suggested Bookotry, a pastiche of “book” and “bigotry.” I also like Book Bigot.

Heather Ponzer suggested Printist, and comments like Franzens would then be labeled Printentious.

Llmysticowl suggested Biblioformist.

Maggie Robinson suggested Page Rage, which also works. And Tina suggests Biblio-biased.

What do you think? What would be a good term for the cross-format prejudice? 

Second: ebooks on sale! I've linked to a SB review when possible. My suggestion: buy books 1 and 2 of Julia Spencer-Fleming's series on sale because they are SO worth the experience. There's a strong romantic thread through all of them, and the build-up is addictive reading. 

  • In the Bleak Midwinter (#1 in series) by Julia Spencer-Fleming * $2.99 * A | BN | K | S
    SB Grade: A– (Look, I couldn't recommend this series unless I assault you with a book. It's amazing.)
  • A Fountain Filled with Blood (#2 in series) by Julia Spencer-Fleming * $2.99 * A | BN | K | S
    SB Grade: B
  • This is Not a Game by Walter Jon Williams * $2.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • The Borrowers by Mary Norton * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Dangerous Race by Dee J. Adams * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Nightwalker (Dark Days) by Jocelynn Drake * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • In My Heart by Melody Thomas * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • The Scent of Shadows (Sign of the Zodiac, Book 1) by Vicki Pettersson * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Dark Time (Mortal Path) by Dakota Banks * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • My Heart May Be Broken, But My Hair Still Looks Great by Dixie Cash * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Still in My Heart by Kathryn Smith * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • To Love a Thief by Julie Ann Long * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Lucien's Fall by Barbara Samuel * $4.99 * A | BN | K | S
    SB Grade: B+ (*Free for Amazon Prime Members to borrow)
  • Master of Paradise by Virginia Henley * $0.00 * A | BN | K | S
  • Home By Morning by Alexis Harrington * $0.00 * A | BN | K | S
  • Sings of a Wicked Duke by Sophie Jordan * $3.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • A Duke's Night of Sin by Kathryn Caskie * $2.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Once Upon a Winter's Eve Novella by Tessa Dare * $0.79 * A | BN | K | S
  • The Other Guy's Bride by Connie Brockway * $0.00 * A | BN | K | S
  • Mad About the Duke by Elizabeth Boyle * $2.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Never Dare a Duke by Gayle Callen * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Northern Exposure: Compass Brothers Book 1 by Mari Carr and Jayne Rylon * $2.62 * A | BN | K | S
  • Trouble at the Wedding: Abandoned at the Altar by Laura Lee Guhrke * $4.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Lady of the Storm (Elven Lords) by Kathryne Kennedy * $1.79 * A | BN | K | S
  • Fire Lord's Lover (Elven Lords) by Kathryne Kennedy * $1.79 * A | BN | K | S
  • God Bless Your, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut * $2.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Infinity: Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon * $2.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Blood Song by Cat Adams * $0.00 * A | BN | K | S
  • Lady of Hay by Barbara Erskine * $2.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure by Diane Kelly * $2.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Cheri on Top by Susan Donovan * $2.99 * A | BN | K | S

ETA: I am a big doofus – I forgot the EIKAL Sale!

  • Everything I Know about Love, I Learned from Romance Novels by Sarah Wendell * $2.99 * A | BN | K | S

But wait: I found a few more non-book sales that might be Relevant to Your Interests.


Ranty McRant

Comments are Closed

  1. Joy says:

    Lucien’s Fall is not $0.00 unless you are a Prime Member of Amazon.  Otherwise it is $4.99.

  2. SB Sarah says:

    WELL CRAP. Thank you for telling me. I missed that – my apologies.

  3. Darlynne says:

    “Book” and “bigotry” sound more like what romance, mystery and scifi readers experience at the hands of readers of litrachure (and each other, if no other targets are handy). I quite like printentious, although that appears to be weighted in favor of digital readers. For now, I’ll stick with the universal “asshat” for anyone who has the temerity to disparage the reading choice or format of anyone else.

  4. dick says:

    Well, I suppose it depends on why the bias for print rather than digital exists.  If it arises from a limitation a reader has, as mine does, it’s perfectly understandable.  If the snideness arises from the fact that many books can be obtained only in digital, thus more or less preventing the reader from reading them, that too is understandable—with a little compassion, that is.

  5. Darlynne says:

    Wait, what about “formatism” like “speciesism” and “racism?”

  6. Aziza says:




    Formatist? Or, more accurately, format-tightass. That’s an FTA that probably wouldn’t be handled by Vincent Plum Bail Bonds, although people HAVE been arrested for not paying their library fines. It could happen.

  7. Taylor Reynolds says:

    Oooooh, a-shopping I will go, a-shopping I will go, hi-ho the merry-o, a-shopping I will go!

  8. henofthewoods says:

    Alyssa Kress – Marriage by Mistake
    Free at Amazon. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this. I like the trope of the forced marriage/marriage of convenience/marriage between strangers so I am predisposed to like the book. It is formulaic, but formula done well. The relationship between the hero and heroine takes work, but they put in a little effort and patience.

  9. CarrieS says:

    Re prev comments – you guys are right, we need two terms. So far I like Formatism – snobbery about book format.  Printentious:  snobbery against any genre you yourself happen to not like.

  10. Karenmc says:

    I have a cold, or I’d come up with some book bigotry terms. I like all the ones other people have thought up.

    Doggone it, Sarah, you just talked me into buying the two Julia Spencer-Fleming books. I have a feeling I’m doomed to sitting in the recliner, Kindle in hand, for the rest of my life.

  11. MissB2U says:

    Formataphobe would work either way but it lacks snark.  I think true book lovers are just happy that folks are reading in any format, and I think ebooks and self pub are a great opportunity for authors who might not otherwise get seen.  I say everybody is welcome in the literary pool – the water’s fine!

  12. MissB2U says:

    I’m having an “F” word brainstorm:  Franzen, flat earth, format can we do anything with this?  Flat earth Franzenites?

  13. Aziza says:

    For the print types:




    = Codexter?

    Never mind. That’s already in use:…

  14. Alicia says:

    uy books 1 and 2 of Julia Spencer-Fleming’s series on sale because they are SO worth the experience. There’s a strong romantic thread through all of them, and the build-up is addictive reading.”

    Here to agree wholeheartedly with this statement. I’m reading In the Bleak Midwinter again for the second time and it’s just as amazing as the first (even more so because I’m noticing little things that I didn’t pick up on the first time).

  15. Elandgraf says:

    I used to be all about paper books having worked for a family owned bookstore for years. Then my job required more travel, and an e-reader is a lifesaver for long flights and airport delays.

  16. JL says:

    I’m know I’m about to sound a bit whiny, so I apologize in advance. But I think we do a disservice by making Franzen’s statement more inflammatory than it is. Other than the comment about serious readers, he’s not disparaging e-books or e-book readers in anyway by stating his preference. I’m not saying there aren’t people like that (heck, I gave my dad a lecture when he insulted the e-reader I bought for my mom for X-mas), but I don’t think this conversation is helpful when framed by this particular context. The permanence of books is a big issue for many readers, as is the difficulty sharing books with friends and family. Not just from a personal reading experience point of view, but from a larger social perspective as well. Seanan McGuire a while back wrote a thought-provoking blog piece about the challenges for poor people as books become increasingly e-format. I think this are discussions this site would want to encourage.

    Personally, I feel privileged to be able to have an e-reader, and to afford paperbacks on occasion. I don’t think one makes me a more or less serious or engaged reader. But, I do know that I don’t get the same cultural value out of e-books because I don’t share them with friends, or have drawn-out (non-internet) conversations about e-books because it’s unlikely that everyone in my social network will pay for the same e-books. That makes me sad, but I still buy e-books and appreciate the luxury of having multiple books with me when I travel and not getting carpel tunnel syndrome from a heavy hardcover. Regardless, the question about the implications of e-books vs. paperbacks can and should be had without having to go into a silly debate about the quality of e-books and their readers.

    And for the record, I prefer bookotry 🙂

  17. Roseclown says:

    I really don’t get why there is such a competition between the two. I mean, I utilize both formats for mass success! Paper is for my reads that I want to spend time on in a peaceful environment, where as ebook format is brilliant for those quick reads on 15 minute work breaks, sudden delays, and those trips to the doctors office. You never have to worry about losing your place when you have to cram it back in your purse as fast as possible with ebooks!

    I think one will never totally ecplise the other, IMO. And at the very least, I expect print book shops to be around 50 years in the future like there are still record shops in today’s world. (And those require technology very few people have to run!)

  18. riwally says:

    Print-a-poop or dig-a-drip depending on which format you’re dising.  That’s the best I can do.  Sorry.  Brain isn’t functioning right now.

  19. Deputman says:

    Does EIKAL have charts/graphics that won’t display properly on a 1st Generation Kindle? I want to take advantage of the sale but don’t want to miss half of the content.


  20. Jim L says:

    I think that we should be happy that people are actually *reading* anything at all!

  21. Shell C says:

    This book versus e-book seems like just the next step of the age old argument of ‘print’ vs ‘illuminated manuscript’/ Literature vs literature/ lit vs genre and so on, and so forth.
    JL, is right about Franzen. He doesn’t fully criticize e-book readers, however,  his language is rather derogatory and he does fall into the trap of privileging one format over the other. (I say trap because of the discourse of the ‘Aura’ of Art that came out of the Frankfurt School in the 30s and 40s.*)
    I can’t avoid suggesting that he is using it as a means to validate his own work. Instilling ‘social capital’ in his work, and the work *he* likes through the undermining of popular/ populist formats and genres**.

    Tho’, it is worth mentioning the hilarity that surrounded the publication of Freedom in the UK (the unproofed work being sent to print).

    Portmanteau words are great; I quite like ‘Bookotry’ and ‘Biblioformist’.

    *Stems from Walter Benjamin’s ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’.
    **Pierre Bourdieu talks about notions of ‘taste’ in regards to class in his work ‘Distinction’. And, I can’t help but bring him up whenever people privilege one medium over the other, or genre, or art form.

    EIKAL has been bought for the Kindle, how could I resist that price?

    (Off-on-a-Tangent: it is getting on my nerves that I have to buy my Kindle books from – Not only because of the UK/US spelling differences, but because I can’t always avail of the same offers that are available to US customers. )

  22. Susan says:

    I’m not a Frantzen fan, so I’d kinda like to be all snarky about his infallibility and pearls of wisdom and all that, but (oh, this hurts), he does have a point about the beauty and relative permanence of a printed book.  With that out of the way, I still don’t like his condescending, elitist tone.  Lighten up, man!  Not everyone has to read what you deem to be important works.  Just be glad they’re reading anything at all, and maybe they’ll go on from there.  Or maybe not.  Not the end of civilization.  No Visigoths at the gate.

    Ebooks are not the enemy of print books; they complement them.  And people aren’t going to read less because ebooks/ereaders; they’re going to read more.  And a wider variety of things because of the accessibility, at that.  The people I know who have gotten ereaders now read much, much more than they did before.  That’s a cause for celebration rather than sanctimonious gloom-and-doom pronouncements. 

    (I like printist/printentious! )

    On a lighter note, thanks posting the sale info.  A-shopping I go!

  23. delphia2000 says:

    I swear I was shopping a bunch of those books last night when I finished my latest ebook read and I couldn’t decide which before I got too sleepy and put the Nook away. I’m going to go buy at least a couple.

  24. I thought the technical term for people like Frantzen was ‘twat’.

    At least, that’s what I’ve been calling them for ages.

  25. NatashaB says:

    I am getting different prices for some of the books. The Connie Brockway’s book is showing as $7.46 on Amazon for me. Everything I Know about Love I Learned from Romance Novels is slightly cheaper at Books on Board @ $2.69.

    I find Books on Board prices matches quite often, which is great for me in the UK (I registered for a US account with a US address <borrowed my=”” sil’s=”“> and then pay through Paypal)</borrowed>

  26. Shell C says:

    Natasha, I often get different prices from than advertised- I’m in Ireland, and blame the VAT/sales tax.
    Also, neither Connie Brockway nor Cat Adams came up at $0.00. While, Julia Spencer-Fleming and Jocelynn Drake aren’t available to me in e-book.

  27. NatashaB says:

    @Shell C
    on Bargain Books the
    Jocelynn Drake book is $.99 for epub;

    Julia Spencer-Fleming’s In the Bleak Midwinter is $2.99;

    Which part of Ireland are you from? I live on the North Coast (County Antrim near Cushendall)

  28. DONNA says:

    For audiobook haters – Hearesy; the willful and persistent rejection of listening to the written word instead of actually reading.  Many people don’t think that listening to a book counts.

  29. PamG says:

    Isn’t it ironic that “social” media in our increasingly digital world so frequently results in reduced human interaction.  Activities that previously had an interactive human component (like reading and sharing a book) now find us more and more isolated with and by our technology.  We communicate, but when was the last time your laptop/phone/ereader hugged you?

  30. PamG says:


  31. May says:

    I think the durability of supports and formats is a legitimate concern, that needs to be taken ito account when choosing in witch format to buy a book. In general, the impermanence of digital data and the difficulties to find suitable formats resilient enough for archiving purposes is a huge problem that has yet to find a satisfactory solution. So I don’t see why a call to remind these issues as fundamentally hostile to digital formats. It’s more the moral stance he chose to use that can be quite grating.

    To me, the biggest flaw in ebooks right now is the presence of DRM. They are like if a publisher sold books with locks without giving you the key so you have to ask them the permission every time you want to open it. Right now, DRM are the surest way to make sure ebooks are indeed perishable goods.

  32. Ms Prue says:

    Every time someone is horrible about book formats, I think of this picture. (;
    Basically, reading is good, no matter how you read.

  33. Katherinelynn_04 says:

    I enjoy both bookist and printentious. (which my phone just tried to autocorrect to print tikis. Caused me a little giggle.) these terms, by the way, remind me of the Thursday Next novels. If only I could become a Literary Detective.

    Personally, I love any and all forms of written word. I have those books I feel a need to have always, to look at their cover and smell the ink and paper. I buy extra editions of books (ie the leather bound Anansi Boys/American Gods and Narnia I have purchased in the past year). BUT it isn’t always possible to lug around a book. My kindle is teeny and fits well in my bag. The same can’t be said for most books. (plus the FYA girls have it right…brown bagging some of the TERRIBLE COVERS the publishers subject us to isn’t an issue with ereaders) I will continue to split my patronage. I also use my library’s digital services A LOT for both audiobooks and ebooks.

  34. Daisy says:

    The Other Guy’s Bride is also only free for Prime members.  For the rest of us, it’s $4.99

  35. Nichole says:

    e-hostility, e-heresy, paper hater

  36. Yvonne D says:

    Hi Natasha and ShellC, I’m in Ireland too and have all the same problems with Amazon.

    I’ll check out Books on Board, thanx Natasha

  37. Flo_over says:

    There is a purpose for all things.  There is something for everyone.  And that is how it should be.  Everything else is just opinion which can be ignored and belittled!

  38. Evelyn Ryan says:

    The entire series is worth never getting out of the recliner. I think it is one of my favorites!

  39. Evelyn Ryan says:

    If I didn’t listen to audiobooks while I drive I would 1) miss out on a lot of really great series that I have no time to sit and read and 2) have a lot of speeding tickets since I tend to drive the speed limit so I can listen to as much of the story as possible.

  40. Tamara Hogan says:

    May said…
    —> In general, the impermanence of digital data and the difficulties to find suitable formats resilient enough for archiving purposes is a huge problem that has yet to find a satisfactory solution.

    This is so true. Digital is really quite fragile as a storage format, and The Library of Congress has gone so far as to call digital formats “not inherently safe harbors of preservation.”

    There was a story in Rolling Stone a couple of years ago about how The Cult went back to their digital multi-track masters to issue a re-release of an album they recorded in 1985, only to find one master completely unplayable, and another 20% blank. The band had to go back to the studio and re-record several songs.  We’ll hear more and more about this issue within the next decade, as people start losing data they thought was “safe.” 

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