Friday, March 30, 2012

Consumer or Connoisseur?

Have you ever enjoyed a book and then had someone else act like a know-it-all and list a gazillion reasons why it was poorly written and poorly plotted? Or reversely, have you read a book and been irritated by all of the grammatical errors, typos, predictability, and continuity problems ... only to learn the book has been on the best-seller list for months?

Does that make you a CONSUMER or a CONNOISSEUR of books?

According to

Definition of CONSUMER: one that consumes 

... <<< Don't you hate it when a word is defined like that? ha. >>> ...

Definition of CONSUME:
3a: to eat or drink especially in great quantity <consumed several bags of pretzels>   
b: to enjoy avidly : devour consumes for fun — E. R. Lipson>
4: to engage fully : engross <consumed with curiosity>
5: to utilize as a customer <consume goods and services>

Definition of CONNOISSEUR:
1: expert; especially: one who understands the details, technique, or principles of an art and is competent to act as a critical judge
2: one who enjoys with discrimination and appreciation of subtleties
... so ...
Which one are you? Does it matter?


  1. My husband tears things apart that I like and vice versa. We agree that we have profoundly different taste in books and have learned to respect our differences. I think it's kind of fascinating since we're otherwise very similar in tastes in other things.

  2. Yes, I hate definitions like that! They used to drive me nuts as a kid. I think I'm both a consumer and a connoisseur. :)

  3. Depends on the book. Some I drool over and love to talk about and go back to. Others I eat, digest, and expel.

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  4. I admit I'm a connoisseur, a fact of which I'm not necessarily proud. I wish I could enjoy every book I read like some people seem to, but my editing brain keeps getting in the way, darn it! :)

  5. I think since I became a writer I'm more of a connoisseur but I know that when it comes to my favourite writers, I'm a lot less picky about things. I just read for enjoyment. So, I guess I'm both.

  6. I usually read a book twice. First I read a book for enjoyment then I read it so that I can study the writer's craft. My blog address has changed to

  7. Definitions like that don't help me as a teacher, either. I like having kids look up words, but the above sort of definition helps nobody.

    I think I'm a consumer. I know what I like and what I don't like, and I can give some simple explanations of why ... but I don't want to spend time digging into too much subtlety when there are other books out there to read.

  8. Most times I'm too tired to be more than a consumer. If that. :)

  9. I think I'm usually a consumer--though if I come across a really good book (and in some cases, a really bad) I'll think harder about the story's elements.

  10. no one likes a know it all. opinions are fine, but i ignore rantings, especially when they arent fruitful in any way...

    have a great weekend!

  11. LOL! Yes to both! I've had lots of (probably readable) books ruined for me by my critiquer's eye.

    On the other hand, when someone rips into a book that I enjoyed, I've finally developed the self-confidence to say, "Regardless of all the technical flaws, about which you are perfectly correct, I still enjoyed the read. That is my personal reaction and you cannot take that away from me."

  12. I have been in both camps, Margo. Now I could care less what anyone says about a book. I read what I like and react the way I want to react. Loved your post.

  13. Sometimes really bad writing can make me cringe and spoil my enjoyment of a book, but that hardly ever happens. What annoys me is people making you feel ashamed and ill-educated for saying you like reading someone like Jilly Cooper, who tells a darned good, gripping story with humour and fabulous characters. And in my opinion, there's nothing wrong with her writing either! Literary snobs drive me crazy. I reckon I'm a consumer - but a slightly discerning one! Great post, Margo!

  14. I notice the typos and grammar, but it doesn't keep me from enjoying the story if it's good. However, it does take me "out of the text" for a couple of moments.

  15. I guess I am a consumer, the other word sounds a bit pompous. But I really get steamed - for example: We saw a film called "The Tree of Life". We struggled through that terrible film and later we read were it is an award winner. We absolutely detested it.

  16. What a clever post! ;) Verrrry fun. I think I dabble in both worlds? Depending on how my kids are acting in the moment? LOL.

  17. I'm definitely both! And, whilst I'll give anyone who asks my opinion of a book, I'd never tell a person they were wrong for liking something that I don't think is good. If we all liked the same thing, even less books would be published!