Feral Friday – Aussie Bibliophiles: are we shallow, impatient, tight or patriotic?

Hi everyone! It is time for another Feral Friday!

Feral Friday is more of an opinion piece… and well, lets be honest, I am full of opinions. But this time, I included yours, and would like to here more!

Are Aussie bibliophiles shallow, impatient, tight or patriotic?

Are we all of these things, or non of these things, when it comes to our beloved books?

Well, the answer is both… and none… it really depends on how you look at it, each persons individual situation, circumstances and personal preferences.

But it is kind of interesting to get a glimpse into the mind of an Aussie bibliophiles.

Recently I put out a Twitter poll to find out why Aussie’s buy international editions, and to be honest, the results kind of surprised me.

Now. I am ALL for supporting the Aussie publishing and book industry, they are an important part of my blogging and personal life. I am in 100% agreement that in a perfect world that all Aussies should only buy Australian editions from Australian booksellers. But sadly we do not live in a perfect world. And I do not know one person who has only Australian editions on their bookshelves (these people may exist, but I do not know any of them). And I know that I am certainly not one of them.

So, here I am, I am going to confess my sins and tell you my traitorous reasons for having foreign editions on my shelves. And some of these reasons were included in my poll (sadly I had limited options to use, so I couldn’t break it down further – I will share the results later on).

The reason I have international editions on what should be all Aussie shelves:

A prettier cover:

There is no easy way to say this, but some international covers are just prettier. Just the same way that some Australian covers are prettier. And yes, I will admit that I have been shallow enough (I use this word as I was once called shallow in the bookish community for wanting a pretty cover) to buy an international edition.

Matching set:

I have to have matching sets in a series. And for some reason, Aussie editions seem to change sizes and styles more than the US editions… so yes, I have purchased international editions before to ensure this doesn’t happen, or when a cover/size has been changed and the previous books in the series have not been re-released in that style/size.

Hardcover:

I love a pretty hardcover… but sadly there aren’t many Aussie editions released in hardcover. It is a sad truth.

Multiple editions:

I am a collector. I cannot have a signed copy as my reading copy, and some books I just like having multiple editions of *coughLainiTaylorcough* So therefore, I have been known to buy an international edition to add to my collection, or to get signed (i.e.: I got some hardcovers of Sarah J Maas to get signed when she came to Australia – but I did at least buy these from an Aussie bookstore – this makes me feel less guilty).

Release date:

This is the biggest reason why I would buy an international edition. I am impatient, and if the Australian release date is well after the international one, I will buy the international edition.

No Australian release:

I have a few books that have not been released in Australia, or at the time of purchasing them, they did not have an Australian publisher/release date.

Price:

I have in the past purchased an international edition based on price – i.e. I could get the international hardcover for the same price, or less, as the Australian paperback. But, I try not to do this, unless I know it is one that I know I will want multiple editions of.

Price – postage:

I will put my hand up for this one.. Australian postage is crazy! And I know that Aussie booksellers do their best to keep the price down, but sometimes it is hard a pill to swallow to pay more for an Aussie edition (with postage included) than to get an international edition for far less. This of course isn’t always the case – international books may be cheaper, but the postage when purchasing from say, Amazon, is ridiculous.

Signed books:

I have purchased international books before just for the simple fact that they were signed editions. Everyone loves a signed edition. the Australian edition of The Fault in our Stars proved that – when we did a giveaway for this book, our hits went through the roof, crazy town style, so it is proof that signed books are hot commodity.

 

Your reasons for buying international editions:

So, those are my reasons for the international editions on my bookshelves (sometimes there was more than one of these reasons attached to a particular book). But what are yours? Is it money, prettiness, personal preference for hardcovers. OCD-like tendencies, release date?

I recently asked on Twitter why Aussies buy international editions. Sadly I couldn’t include all options, so I asked if your reasons are because of the cover, release date, price or if you only ever buy Australian editions.

And here are the results:

 

I must say, I am pretty surprised with the results. I thought release dates and price might get more votes. I will note that some people mentioned to me they voted for pretty covers because they like hardcovers (hardcovers are pretty, so I accept that vote).

But wow, credit to the 14% who only buy Australian editions!!! You are awesome!

There is now a strong movement for #LoveOzYA and buying locally – and please don’t get me wrong when I say I have purchased international editions, as I FULLY SUPPORT SUPPORTING AUSSIE PUBLISHERS, SELLERS AND AUTHORS! I ENCOURAGE IT! And I do try to live by it: I try to buy Aussie books by Aussie authors from Aussie booksellers wherever I possibly can. But, we do not live in a perfect world, and I am far from perfect, and sadly my tenancies to be shallow, impatient, tight for cash, and my absolute need for a matching series sometimes overrides the knowledge that I should buy Aussie editions from Aussie booksellers – I promise it does make me feel guilty, and I try to make up for it where I can.

I strongly encourage all Aussies to buy Australian published books from Australian booksellers as much as they possibly can! Aussie publishers and booksellers are working hard to meet our demands, and we need to support them as much as possible. We need them. We need our publishers to continue bringing us the books we love, and the more we support them, the more they can support us by bringing them as quickly and cost-effectively as they can (as well as more author events, swag etc). And we NEED our Aussie booksellers!!! Who wants to live in a world where you cannot walk into a bookstore, have a look around, flick through the pages, and get recommendations of the helpful sales assistant? We NEED our bookstores!!

 

 

 

What are your reasons for buying international editions? Tell me below!

 

What do you think?

  • This might sound weird but sometimes I don’t want to read a book about Australians, and that’s why I’ll but an international book.
    Mostly I’d do it because of availability or price (SORRY BUT I LITERALLY HAVE ONE INDIE BOOKSHOP IN MY WHOLE CITY AND THEY ARE STINGY AND EXPENSIVE)
    Sometimes for prettier covers. Although our Unearthly trilogy covers were by far the best.
    Or you know, there used to not be a very big market of Australian books (especially YA) so you’re forced to read international ones. I’m so glad this LoveOzYa campaign has started, it’s so much easier to find great Aussie YA lit now!

  • Hannah M says:

    I absolutely agree with all your points Kristy! There’s so many factors going into buying a book, especially as an Aussie. I’ve always bought TBD if it was cheaper – although I do impulse shop a lot in Dymocks and Boffins, I will admit! And then I am, pretty much, OCD when it comes to the right sort of covers, matching heights etc, which usually, like you say, means an International Edition. Although I’m as of yet to get my Shatter Me series in height order, as I can only get an international edition of Ignite Me which is taller than the rest (grrr!)

    My goal this year is to buy locally – whether it’s through an Australian online bookshop or a retailer. But it’s hard!
    Hannah M recently posted…Five Reasons You’ll Love The Winner’s CrimeMy Profile

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