Book hunting and bibliophilia as a type of serious leisure

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The author adopts the Serious Leisure Perspective (Stebbins, 1982) as his theoretical framework to conceptualise the role of book hunters and bibliophiles in creating communities of interest promoting reading and other forms of intellectual activities. The conceptual analysis shows book hunters and book lovers, who are enthusiastically engaged in collecting various types of books, have the six qualities of serious leisure, which are: perseverance and commitment, the potentiality to turn into a career, significant personal effort based on specific knowledge, durable personal and social benefits, unique ethos within a social world and developing new identities associated with the chosen activity. Furthermore, the analysis indicates their passion and dedication to the book, both as a cultural object and a source of information, is a gateway to lifelong learning. They usually focus on specific topics or historical periods and explore resources in their chosen areas. It also creates some possibilities to participate in other intellectual activities such as joining book clubs, contacting publishers, social interactions with other collectors, and attending cultural events (e.g. book exhibitions, authors talks, etc.). Besides, like other serious leisure participants, they can enjoy a broad spectrum of personal and social benefits of serious leisure, such as creating distinctive knowledge and skills, creating a notion of career, social connectedness, personal reward, social reward, and financial return. Finally, they can build a lifestyle around their hobby, enjoy self-actualisation as a sense of accomplishment, and develop strong identification.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2021
EventThe Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand (BSANZ) Conference 2021: Communities, books and the power of words - Virtual, Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 22 Nov 202123 Nov 2021


ConferenceThe Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand (BSANZ) Conference 2021
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand
OtherThe virtual BSANZ 2021 Conference was hosted from the University of Auckland Waipapa Taumata Rau in Aotearoa New Zealand on Monday–Tuesday, 22-23 November 2021.

It was a stimulating and thought-provoking two days.

The conference feature  two engaging and esteemed  keynote speakers, Dr Hirini Kaa and Dr Sarah Werner, and a great line-up of papers that explored the intersections and dynamics between communities, books and power.

Curator Nina Finigan will gave a behind-the-scenes perspective on the Love and Loss exhibition at Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Some delegates who work in libraries with rare books attended an extra discussion forum on Wednesday 24 November, NZT 10am-1pm.

The BSANZ Annual General Meeting was held on Monday 22 November from NZT 5.15-6.15pm.
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