With yesterday being World Book Day, I noticed an abundance of reading and book related posts on nearly every social media site I visit. Normally, this would warm my heart. I love seeing others talk about books. I love learning about why someone was influenced by a book or talking about which characters they’d love have dinner with if they could. While there was plenty of warm and fuzzy book talk going on, I also noticed quite a bit of reading snobbery, especially when talking about e-readers and e-books.
I know that e-readers are not for everyone, and that’s fine. What bothers me is when people start bashing one another because of how they read a book. For example, a lot of the arguments I see against e-readers is that you somehow are shorthanded reading from an e-reader. That if you’re not reading a story from a physical book, you’re missing out and you won’t feel as connected to the story. This amazes me. I understand that there are some perks to physical books – they’re beautiful, they don’t need batteries or charging, you don’t have to wait to start reading them when your plane is taxiing, but to suggest that readers won’t be as invested in a book because of the way in which they are reading it is just ludicrous.
For a long time, I put a lot of pressure on myself about what I read. I didn’t shame anyone for reading popular fiction, but I prided myself on not reading it. I only wanted to read literary fiction or other books that would give me deep insight into the human condition. I wanted to be constantly challenged by what I read. It wasn’t until I started working in a bookstore and volunteered to read some Young Adult books that I realized that popular fiction could be just as thought provoking as literary fiction and classic works. Aside from that, why not just read to be entertained? Cleansing my reading palate helped me to discover new worlds and new ideas that are equally as valuable to me as any classic I have read.
When I purchased my first kindle, I found myself reading twice as many books as I had previously. It made reading fun again and gave me a new sense of wonder about the books I would discover. Some of my favorite reads in the past few years have been from independent/self published authors who’s books I never would have read without an e-reader.
Why can’t we celebrate the things we love about reading instead of trying to one up one another by proving who is more of a “reader”? I don’t see how putting down someone’s choice in reading format is going to help others discover the joys of reading, and isn’t that what sharing our love of reading is all about?