YES. I’m tired of all of you pretentious assholes saying that I’m not “really reading” because I use a kindle.
Yes, you are reading.You are just reading a “lesser” form of book. Reading isn’t just reading the words on a page/screen, it’s smelling the book, new or old, it’s wearing the books spine out after rereading it for the X’th time, it’s leaving crease marks on a page you flipped too fast because you were that eager to get to the next page, and most of all, it’s losing yourself in a book to the point where the world around you no longer exists. And I, for one, cannot lose myself in an electronic screen. The words of a real book take on a depth that cannot ever be recreated on anything electronic. So you may be reading a book, but you will never truly experience a book unless you read it in a printed medium.
What ineffable twaddle.
If it’s a large chunk of narrative prose that contains a story with a beginning, a middle and an end, then it’s a book, whether it’s inside an electronic device or between paper covers or boards.
If you can surrender yourself so deeply to a story that you forget whether you’re holding a device or something bound between covers, or even (at best) that you exist at all, then the most important thing has happened. You are in the white-hot core of reading, and the very last things that can possibly matter are paper weights or smells or other mere details of materials technology. You won’t have time to get all precious about your sensoria, because the story will be ruthlessly overriding yours until it’s wrung you out and let you go. If you’re purposely stopping in mid-tale to waste your time gourmandizing over the smell of the binding, you’re not a reader: you’re (at best) very confused or (at worst) a garden-variety snob.
(eyeroll) Of course physical books have a unique beauty. But that beauty is only of value because of the content: the words, the stories. Remove those and all the paper and leather are rendered merely vaguely attractive decorative objects. It’s what’s inside that counts.
The contents of a Kindle or an iPad can leave you as effectively heartbroken or weeping with joy as the most beat-up paperback or busted-spined tome. If old reading habits can’t be broken, if you prefer books, fine. Read them. But don’t presume to talk down to fellow readers because of footling differences about format.
(ETA: whoops, I plagiarized Arthur Conan Doyle. Sorry, Artie.)
Tcha, books are like so mainstream. You’re not really reading if it’s not on a papyrus scroll.
The Duchess Affair is currently at the top of my list of favorite (straight) romance novels and you can now get it for $1.99 from Kobo. (If you don’t use Kobo, the full retail price of $3.99 is hardly going to break the bank either.) DRM-free!!
I’m not suggesting that we should stop loving books, or collecting them. It’s still one of my great pleasures. But let’s not mistake our opinions as book collectors for our opinions as readers. An intelligent, balanced, emotive, transcendent work of literature still retains all those qualities, whether you read it on a page or on a screen. The power of writing lies in the words.
I agree with all of the above
Sometimes I wonder if I would’ve had more resistance to ebooks if I hadn’t already had years of reading fanfic on screens behind me before purchasing an ebook. I was already used to reading (sometimes really great writing) on screens anyway; the only thing I won’t accept is the loss of the ability to protect my purchases through backing them up, converting them to other formats, etc.
When you’re reading a really good book
And then you finish it
And its the last in the series
And you can’t even process all your feelings about the book
So you just sit there like