Not A Real Reader? | Discussion

“You’re not a real reader” – a phrase commonly spat by elitists who believe reading can only be done with physical pages.

f2u___flower_divider_by_umieart-dbeqdncDo 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.

f2u___flower_divider_by_umieart-dbeqdnc

Have you ever been told you’re not a real reader? What format do you prefer to read? Let me know in the comments!

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33 thoughts on “Not A Real Reader? | Discussion

  1. ‘scuuuse mee? 😀 😀
    Wow… nobody ever told me this, but i did see this sentiment. It’s such nonsense. I mean, if i read books on kindle and that’s not real reading, then what was i doing? Hallucinating? 😀

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  2. This happens to me all the time with genre fiction (“genre fiction, especially YA, is not real reading!” — several people I know irl) and I hate it. And yes, “ebooks and audiobooks are not real books” is a very privileged point of view that excludes some disabled people and people who can’t buy physical copies (because money, because they just prefer e-readers/audiobooks, or because they do not live in an English-speaking country and their libraries/bookstores do not have English books – that’s why 90% of what I read is ebooks).

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    • Oh gosh, I’m so sorry you experience this! I don’t understand how it’s not ‘real’ reading based on a genre you like? People just love to criticise. But, you’re so right! It is an incredibly ableist opinion to have from a lot of people and it lights a fire in me whenever someone says it to me. We need to adapt our mindsets to the different formats of books now. Thank you so much for your comment ♥

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  3. I have been told that since I ‘ve gotten into audiobooks in the past few months. I really don’t get it, but oh well. While I do prefer an actual book, I don’t think different of anyone else. Reading is reading whether it be audio, print, or ebook.

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  4. Nobody has ever told me that I’m not a real reader, but I have had people tell me that ebooks aren’t real books and one time my mom said to me, “Wow, I hope you remember how to turn pages,” to which I was just like??? what??? I don’t care how I’m reading as long as I’m doing it. Physical books, audiobooks, ebooks, whatever. Reading is reading.

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    • omg I’m glad no one’s told this, i had it said to me three times one day and i was like??? what???? but so true! at the end of the day you’re absorbing a story and no matter what format that is in, it makes you a reader! thank you so much for your comment ♥

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  5. “I think it’s time we tell these people to get fucked.”

    YESSSSSS, you tell ’em! I’m so with you on this. I have gone off on so many people for saying that ebooks or audiobooks, especially, “aren’t real books” or “aren’t really reading”. Fuck that shit. My partner works 50-60 hours a week AND commutes 2 hours a day AND is in college. How the hell would he ever have the TIME to read without audiobooks?! But thanks to Audible and Scribd and the library, he gets to read at least a few books per month during his commute. It sure as hell doesn’t make him “less of a reader” than someone who’s privileged enough to buy physical books and sit there reading them all day.

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    • I’ve done the exact same! It’s such bullshit, plus an ableist opinion lets be real. I’m so glad your partner gets to read through audiobooks. It’s so bloody frustrating that people think you need to physically hold the book. Like, how is it any different from having it read to you?? Thank you so much for commenting Destiny! ♥

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  6. I definitely love the weight and feel of a physical book in my hands, but that’s not always possible for every person and every situation! My Kindle is great price-wise and for traveling back and forth between home and college, and I know a lot of folks who prefer audio books because of various disabilities or even the way they process information, preferring audio over visual. It’s all still reading at the end of the day, and people who say otherwise really need to take a step back and rethink, preferably by thinking beyond their little bubble.

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  7. I used to hate e-readers but now it’s a lot easier for me to read and a lot easier to handle. I still can’t get into audiobooks because I love reading and turning the page or swiping sometimes but I totally agree girl!

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    • I’m the exact same way! I’ve been diagnosed with arthritis in my wrists so I struggle to hold big books for long amounts of time, the ereader is so much easier for me! Thank you so much for your comment! 💕

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  8. I’m 100% with you here! I just got a kindle because I’ve been reading ebooks more and more because of their convenience, while yes I love a physical paperback, kindle books are so cheap and easy. I can fit tonnes of books in my bag with a kindle, I can pick up where I left off on the kindle app on my phone if I forget my kindle, I can read comfortable in bed, and in the dark… What’s not to love?! People are idiots.

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    • Exactly! I don’t get this whole “physical books are superior” nature honestly. I love being able to read in the dark honestly, I’m light sensitive at the moment so it’s amazing 😍 also it’s the worst carrying around physical books because I always worry I’ll damage them!

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  9. Totally feel you as someone who prefers reading ebooks and maybe even audiobooks these days… No one has directed this hate at me but I’ve seen enough discussions about Ebooks not being authentic enough or audiobooks not counting as books… and not being a serious reader because I prefer contemporaries to classics is another snobbish take … but I say what the hell… reading is my passion and I’m doing it for myself.. who the hell cares what other ppl think…
    You go ahead with doing whatever you love Amber ,.. No one has a right to question your passion 😊😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right! It’s a bunch of people in Facebook groups typically, they’re all a little entitled and think physical books are what makes you really a reader (don’t get me started on their opinions when it comes to genre!)
      People are always so ready to judge how other people read like how does it bother you so much???

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  10. The only time I have been told I’m not a “real reader” is when I’m using my Nook (ebook). I used to read all the time in ebooks but now I appreciate a good physical book. However, that doesn’t mean you’re not a real reader if you enjoy ebooks over physical books. Read however you want. As long as you’re reading.

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  11. I’ve seen this around especially in regards to listening to audiobooks not being the same as reading, which is absolutely bullshit. I don’t listen to audiobooks very often because I can’t focus very well, but I still consider it a great way to read a book, I really can’t see why anyone would look down on people who listen to audiobooks. Yikes.
    Also, people who own 10000 editions of the same book and criticize poor people/international readers for not having a physical copy are very privileged and elitist and kinda gross.
    Thank you for this post! ❤

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