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.
--Suggested by: Thisisnotabookclub
Several years ago, a sales person from the Los Angeles Times called just about every day to try and talk me into buying a subscription to the paper. It was always the same man, and usually I would not bother answering the phone when he called, but I decided it was time to put a stop to it. When I told him I was not interested, he politely asked why, and I blurted out, "I don't read." After a stunned silence, he cleared his throat and said, "I'm so sorry." He said it in such a sad way, and I instantly realized his mistake. I had not meant to imply that I didn't know how to read; I simply wanted him to know that subscribing would be silly because I wouldn't read it.
There was a time in my life when I could not read. It's true for all of us. Reading is something we all had to learn. For some it came more naturally than for others. Reading can be as simple as making sense of the symbols and combination of symbols we call letters and words. Language, written and oral, is an amazing invention. I have never been very good at languages no matter how hard I try, but I am fascinated by the variety of different ones out there and admire those who can read and speak more than one.
I place a high value on literacy. I know people who cannot read and, while they are able to get by, not being able to read comes with serious limitations, especially in today's society. I cannot fathom not being able to read. It is such an integral part of my life. It is a skill that is easy to take for granted.
When I say I love to read, that it is one of my passions, I am not just referring to reading on a basic level but more in terms of enjoying a good story. There are some people who read books and only see words on a page. When I read a book, I am transported into another time and place. I am a visual reader in that I can see a story unfold before me as I read. I remember once watching a movie and being so sure I had seen it before, and yet I hadn't. However, I had read the book. The images and descriptions from the book were so real to me that when I saw them on the TV screen, I was sure I had seen them before. Furthermore, I become connected to the characters in a book, even becoming a part of their lives in a sense. I laugh and cry with them, share their pain and celebrate their successes.
It does not matter whether a story is nonfiction or fiction or whether it is told mostly through artwork or solely in words. Length is insignificant. A short story can pack as much punch as a door stopper of a novel. While there may be book types or formats that I prefer not to read, it does not make them any less worthy as reading materials.