It never ceases to amaze me how judgemental we can be as a species. To ourselves, and to others. For example, I cannot *tell* you how many people disparage audiobooks as forms of reading. I hear it a lot at the store, people saying with an embarrassed laugh, “Oh, I just listened to it.” (emphasis mine). Or talking about how their “friend” told them audiobooks aren’t REAL books. I see it a lot on book pages I belong to as well – every six months or so, like clockwork, someone will ask or post a poll about whether or not listening to audiobooks is “real” reading.
Folks, it legitimately DOES NOT MATTER how you absorb the words of another. Just like my post about graphic novels (https://stillmorewords.com/2020/03/02/they-are-too-books-or-10-reasons-why-graphic-novels-are-good/) – BOOKS ARE BOOKS ARE BOOKS. Seriously. And if you question my earnestness on that particular topic, let me ask you this:
If a blind person reads with braille, does that make what they’re reading any less legit? Does it make that book any less “real”? Or does it simply mean that the reader is utilizing a tool available to him or her in order to maximize enjoyment of a title?
Think about that for a sec. I’ll wait.
That’s the beauty of the technology we have available today. There are options for literally ANYONE who loves to read. Eyesight starting to dim with age? Kindles and Nooks can adjust the font for you. Super busy with kids and sports and job and school? Audiobooks to share with your family. A lot of time commuting for work? Again – audiobooks in the car or on the mass transit system. Time to relax at home with a cuppa? ANY OPTION YOU CHOOSE.
People need to lay off and let go. We are all different, and we all have preferences in life – and chances are, those preferences are not going to make a life or death difference to much of anything. All that matters is that people are reading! I work at a bookstore – but I listen to audiobooks on my way to my train, and I travel with a Kindle so I’m not packing 30 books for a 3-day stay. I *als0* LOVE regular books – the feel in the hand, the turning of the pages…it all just depends on what I need and/or want at any particular moment in time.
So be more understanding of others, and be more kind to yourself. If you have a preferred way to read, ROCK ON WITH YOUR BAD SELF. Announce it proudly, because frankly, you’re doing better just by reading than a significant portion of the populace. How you *do* that reading really doesn’t matter, and anyone telling you it does needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror at why they are so insistent on bashing other’s choices. And then, go pick up a book.