Suggested by: Thisisnotabookclub

What is reading, anyway? Novels, comics, graphic novels, manga, e-books, audiobooks — 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.
(Two weeks late for Reading is Fundamental week, but, well…)

Reading is both a hobby and a pleasure to me. There are several reasons I read. I read because I enjoy the storytelling by the authors; I often find myself lost in the characters' world if their stories are engaging. Then again, I read to improve on my vocabulary/grammar and to broaden my knowledge because there are so many new things out there waiting for me to explore, and it is always interesting to learn about other countries and their cultures.

As for comics, graphic novels and manga, I consider them storytelling too though it is the pictures that speak louder than the words. The only thing I have not tried is audiobooks, and I find e-books too inconvenient and straining to the eyes to read. Nonetheless, all of them are reading to me, although I would still say that novels comes off the top amongst all, partly because it is the traditional and original form of reading and moreover, it has been around for decades. The only thing that does not classified as reading is when we read instructions or anything that does not fit into storytelling.

18 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    The story telling part is very important for me. I need to hold a book too. Audio-books are not for me as are e-books!

    Here is my say!

  2. I do like good old fashioned books.

  3. Jane Says:

    I keep hearing good things about audio books but haven't tried them yet. If you download it on an MP3 or Ipod, it must have a bookmarking device and cd audio books are 15-20 dollars apiece. Maybe I will someday.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Jaimie makes a good point about the cost of audio books. I have to say that I tend to borrow them from the library if I do use them or listen to them on BBC Radio 7, where they often serialise the classics.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I have never read a graphic novel or listened to an audio book, and I rarely read comics but I'm not sure if they can be called reading. There's no real reading in audio books, and in comics and graphic novels, the images do most of the talking.

  6. Ana S. Says:

    I definitely agree that all of the above is reading. I think that even if a book has more images than words, the images are still being read - you're not just passively contemplating them, but you are looking at them, making sense of them, extracting a meaning through which a story is being told. And I can't think of a better word to describe that process than "reading".

  7. jlshall Says:

    Novels are my favorite reading matter, too. And I do prefer traditional printed books over e-books. I haven't really had much experience with audiobooks - I just find it difficult to concentrate for very long on anything being read to me. I'd rather read it myself!

  8. Melody Says:

    Gautami - Indeed the storytelling part is important to me too. I had read one or two ebooks once and gave up in the end.

    Chris - I like the feeling of holding a book, flipping the pages and inhaling the crisp book smell as well. ;)

    Jaimie - Can you believe that I don't own a MP3 or an Ipod?! My husband has one and ever offered to lend it to me but I'd still preferred reading the traditional way. ;P

    Table Talk - I don't think audiobooks work for me, especially when they're so useful while driving (not that I own a car). And it's absolutely a great idea to borrow them from the libraries too.

    When-books-tell-a-story - I understand what you mean. To me, as long as stories are told, they've already done their purposes no matter what formats they are. :)

    Nymeth - Exactly! You've explained it very well, in fact much better than me. :)

    Jlshall - There're many reasons I prefer holding a physical book than anything. Besides the joy of flipping through the pages, inhaling the book smell, it's also convenient as I can pick it up anytime!

  9. Unknown Says:

    I love an audio book when, say on a plane, but there is nothing like the feel of a book in your hands, the smell of the pages and that swish as each of the pages turn. Audio books may be able to better character voices than I can but overall, they miss the character of the physical book :-)

    Great response Melody :-)

  10. pussreboots Says:

    I'm not a fan of audio books or ebooks for the reasons you've listed. Happy BTT.

  11. Melody Says:

    Mountaingirl - I bring along a book even if I'm travelling, partly because I don't have a MP3 or an Ipod but still, I'd prefer a physical book over anything. ;)

    Pussreboots - Happy BTT! It looks like most of us still prefer holding a physical book. :)

  12. DabookLady Says:

    Would like to invite you to a great swap, swapping books and a bookmark
    BABEs DaBookLady swap

  13. (M)ary Says:

    i love the smell and feel of a physical book.

    i can see that i didn't answer the real question in my post. i went off on a tangent in my answer!

  14. Melody Says:

    Dabooklady - Thanks! Will take a look if I've the chance. :)

    M - I love everything in a physical book. I don't think anything will replace this IMHO. ;)

  15. Alice Says:

    Hi Melody, I like all three formats: paper, audio and e-book, but of course, my fav is paper. Nothing beats holding a book in hand and feeling it. I download my audio books into my smartphone (I have a 1GB memory card).

  16. This was a difficult question for me to answer. On one level, I think of reading at its very basic form--literacy. But when calling myself a reader, I tend to mean that I like to read stories of some sort.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    Interesting I am the same with e books. I wear glasses and if I am wearing contacts especially I find being on a computer dries my eyes out and gives me a headache. It is more the case for reading large amounts on the screen which luckily doesn't seem to include blogs! I might try putting an audiobook on my ipod sometime.

  18. Melody Says:

    Alice - I agree that nothing beats holding a book in hand. I'd like to 'read' an audiobook one day as I haven't tried it though.

    Wendy - I agree this week's question is a little difficult to answer; and I had a great time reading everyone's response. :)

    Rhinoa - I wear glasses most of the time at home, and moreover I can hardly concentrate on the pc with my daughter around. So ebook isn't the option for me, besides it is straining to the eyes. :P

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