Thursday, April 28, 2016

There are no "Real Books"

I'm not less of a reader because my books involve less paper. My books are in no way "fake", and others "real", because they are words built out of micro-encapsulated ink on a screen rather than ink printed on a paper. And these stories are no less real on any other screen. Or if they're spoken. Or if they're accessed in any other form.

Reading isn't about the physical manifestation of holding paper in your hands. While there might be things that people enjoy about paper books - that doesn't make reading about such items. It makes books enjoyable, and a particularly enjoyable way to read for some people. It doesn't make some ways of reading better or worse, some people better or worse "readers". It means that people enjoy objects, which is a worthy in itself.

You enjoying an object doesn't mean my way of reading isn't me being a reader. It doesn't mean that I am only attached to electronics to the point where I can't see any value in what books can offer. (And hey, electronics are valuable. The internet is valuable. And those of you telling me this - are doing so on the internet). It doesn't mean I'm somehow not Real.

It means I do things in ways that are accessible to me, that I do things that are preferable to me.

My kindle means I can change the font size based on what I need then. Between the smallest of small, letting me spend less time turning pages, to some of the largest sizes, when migraine auras are blurring my vision but I don't want to put down my book. It lets me mess with the pages, figuring out how many words on the page are optimal for me at this moment, decreasing words on the page as I need the decreased words in order to process any of what I see, and increasing when my processing isn't limited by number of items so much that the number of words I'm reading has such dramatic effects. My kindle means that I can read when my hands scream in pain at the lightest touch of paper, wanting me to bite them to take the pain goes away. My kindle means I can read, even in the awkward times, like when I'm needing to hide in a car during yet another event I've gone to that was promised to be Safe.

My kindle gives me the option of reading. It means that something I enjoy doing is something I can do more easily, that something that helps me relax, isn't something I need to worry about whether I can or can't do at any given point in time. My kindle gives me choice. It is my way of reading.

And there's nothing wrong with that.

And I'm not any less of a reader because my books are virtual, displayed on a screen. There aren't Real Books and Real Readers and Real ways of being. There are just preferences, things we enjoy, things that are accessible, things which aren't. And these vary person to person. It's not that some of us are right and some of us are wrong, when it comes to things as simple as how we choose to read.

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