When you can’t buy new ones…

Ya read the old ones. That’s where I’m currently at, and I’m sure it’s a place where many of you are far too familiar. Budget constraints (separation will do that do a person) mean that I CAN’T BUY ALL THE BOOKS, and not working at Powell’s anymore means my access to arcs is pretty much nil these days, so…I’m revisiting my not-insubstantial library. The last two titles are newer, but one was a gift, and the other was a gift to myself for my birthday. As will the next title be. But after that? It’ll be titles that I’ve had – some for YEARS – that I’ll finally be making time for. Because this is typically me:

But on the plus side – I’m finally really enjoying reading again. Covid pretty much just…wiped me out. Not personally – I’ve been blessed to not get it (that I’m aware of) and I have gotten my vaccine (GET THE VACCINE, PEOPLE). But I lost my beloved job at Powell’s when they shut down and then closed to store I worked at, had to get another job with good benefits and stability because – separation (which, don’t get me wrong – I do *love* my job and I’m good at it – but it does NOT provide me with ALL THE BOOKS)…homeschool with a teen who was *miserable*…it was just *a lot*. I read very inconsistently, when I read at all, and I missed it. So it’s feeling kinda nice to be back in the reading mindset!

So if you see a review for a book, and you’re all “Jeez, lady. That came out AGES ago.”. Well, yeah. But I was so busy buying and only reading some and then not really reading at all, that I have *a lot to catch up on*! And who knows – maybe someone else will be in the same boat and find a recommendation for something THEY haven’t read either! Because old(er) books still have fabulous tales to be told to SOMEONE.

Audio, Kindle, or Paper – Oh, My!

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.

My reaction…

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.

Jeopardy theme song commencing NOW.

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.

Peace can be found in a book – of ANY stripe