May 29, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: What Is Reading, Fundamentally?

Suggested by: Thisisnotabookclub

What is reading, anyway? Novels, comics, graphic novels, manga, e-books, audio books — which of these is reading these days? Are they all reading? Only some of them? What are your personal qualifications for something to be “reading” — why? If something isn’t reading, why not? Does it matter? Does it impact your desire to sample a source if you find out a premise you liked the sound of is in a format you don’t consider to be reading? Share your personal definition of reading, and how you came to have that stance.

For me, I think that all of the forms of 'reading' listed in the question are legitimate 'reading'. With technology today and all the pod casts, ebooks etc, you can't label these forms as not 'reading'. Personally, the one that I would say comes closest to not being 'reading' is comic books. Do you really consider that reading?? And then there are magazines. Yes, its still a form of a book, but I find myself skimming thru magazines more than actually reading them from cover to cover. There are some good articles in magazines, don't get me wrong and they serve a purpose. Its just when I think of sitting and reading something, a magazine doesn't come to mind for me. I'm sure there are others that do read them from front to back . . . its a gray area for me.

The other thing I like about physical books is that I like to collect them. I like having them on my book shelf so that I can flip through them anytime I want. Sometimes I will be reminded of something in a book I've read and I like to be able to go to the shelf, pull that book out and read it. That is satisfying to me.

When I read I prefer to have a physical book in my hand. I like the feel, the turning of the pages, the smell - I just love books! However, I'm not opposed to the audio books, books on tape, etc. Those forms come in handy when traveling or exercising or even when your eyes are just too tired to focus. Probably in the not too distant future, I will have to switch to the audio form of books due to my progressive eye disease. I will miss the feel of the book, but hopefully, I'll enjoy it just the same. But I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

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