“You’re not a real reader” – a phrase commonly spat by elitists who believe reading can only be done with physical pages.
Do you know how many times I’ve been told that lately? Usually mingled with a “real books are just better.” It’s such an elitist perspective. One that truly makes me so damn mad. I’m a broke student who financially contributes 90% of what I ‘earn’ to my family. I don’t have the large amounts of money to buy every physical book I want to read. Especially at the rate that I read. I read so damn quickly that when I was buying literally every physical book I wanted my bank account couldn’t keep up. It’s hard. Seriously, do you buy 200+ books a year? If you do, I am jealously and admire your work ethic which allows you to do this.
I’m positive I’m not the only one who has heard this either. I have seen it countless times on Twitter or Goodreads and each time it fuels this burning pit in my stomach. I want to scream and swear, but every time I have fought back I receive a patronising ‘okay hun, enjoy your fake books’ reply. I have seen people say this frustrating ‘you’re not a real reader’ phrase in regards to audiobooks and ebooks. Anything that is not you physically turning the pages. I think it’s time we tell these people to get fucked. Honestly.
If you’re someone who has told someone they’re not a real reader because of the format in which they do read, come here, I just want to talk for a moment. Some people aren’t able to buy physical books, because, like me, they have financial difficulty. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t read. I also don’t have access to a library. If I want to go to a library I have to travel 40 minutes out of my way and I simply don’t have the time. However, there are other reasons someone may favour an ebook or an audiobook. Maybe someone has a long commute via car? I don’t think reading a physical book while driving is exactly recommended. Another of those reasons may be a disability. Some people aren’t able to hold a heavy book for a long period of time and need the ease of an e-reader to help them escape into their passion. This doesn’t mean we aren’t real readers. We are simply readers who choose to go about our passions in a different format to you and what is the problem with that?
I’m going to end my rant here because I can feel myself getting angrier by the second. I am just so sick of being told I’m not a real reader because I choose my kindle over spending $20 on a book. I’ve also been told that “I can’t dare care myself a reader” because I haven’t read a classic. I am just so sick of this ‘joking’ phrase. I’m so sorry if you’ve ever been told you’re not a real reader like me because of the format or genre in which you read. If you have been told just know that if you like reading in any shape or form that you are a real reader.