Since i was three and able to read on my own, and even before (then I learned my books by heart and pretended to read aloud, turning the pages at the right spot), I've been known to family and friends as 'the book-loving kid'.
Today, while a rather mechanical task left my mind free to wander, I realized all of a sudden that the old definition is wrong.
I do not love books.
I like them, I admire the artistry in a well-crafted volume, I feel dizzy at the idea of some medieval books I have been fortunate enough to see without a pane of glass in between, because of who wrote, copied and preserved them...but I do not love books .
It is the voices within them that I love, cherish, discuss...and even quarrel with; the 'real' ones that come out of non-fiction as well as the other ones that bring me to worlds that exist only in authors' brains and in those of their readers.
When I am really reading I do not see, smell or feel the book, sometimes I don't even realize the language I'm reading in, I am in the story, and I couldn't care less in which format it is: hardbound, paperback, loose sheets, a file on my computer or my ereader... as long as I can read as much as I want without killing my eyes, my reading materials can come as bas-relief, quipus, bedsheets or what-have-you, it doesn't matter.
My comment there was:
Hear hear. From the time I learned to read before age four I have loved reading. Not books, words. Books, yes, cereal boxes, passing signposts, anything with words on it. I, too, used to be called the book-loving child but always (even at age five and I am 46 now) used to say that it was more about reading words than reading books. We are word-lovers or reading-lovers.
These days I prefer the reading on the web, eBooks and audio-books to physical dead-tree books because I can read them or listen to them while I knit.