Reading is important. I know there are a plethora of mediums to send and receive information which are much more popular these days, but I’m sure reading inspires parts of the imagination in ways unlike any of those other formats. Personally, I still much prefer film and television when accessing fiction stories, but very little satisfies my curiosity like a good nonfiction book. How I read my books can be a point of controversy amongst book-readers.
I prefer to enjoy my reading as an ebook dowloaded to my iPhone. The benefits are virtually endless (no pun intended, if there’s any there). I can whip out my phone anytime I have a minute to wait. I never have to worry about leaving my reading material anywhere because I always have my phone on me anyway. I can carry literally hundreds of books at one time. Since the brightness of the backlit screen can be altered, I can read in the dark. I can highlight text, make notes, copy text. It’s especially great for school work (the notes part, not the copy part).
It is disappointing, the behaviors I’ve noticed amongst some of my fellow readers. At least two people I know will only read physical books. I’m well aware that this is just a preference. For all of the advantages, there are a lot of drawbacks to virtual literature with which I completely empathize. The words may seem too small to some. The backlit screen may provoke a headache from those with sensitive eyes. Reading on a smart phone can make the battery wear out faster, not to mention if the battery dies you have no more reading material. It’s harder to let someone borrow an ebook. The list goes on. Still, none of these reasons were stated by my companions. Each of them essentially conveyed that they just preferred to have the book in hand.
What? Why? You prefer to carry one book? To keep track of and protect one book? I was confused, but still didn’t think much of it until I asked each of these people what they thought of electronic book-readers. Kindle, yes. Reading on iPad, no.
So that’s what it is. You simply like for people to know that you’re reading. Reading a book on a phone looks very similar to texting. Reading on an iPad could be anything from sending an email to playing a game. These are people who would prefer strange onlookers to see them and think of them as belonging to an elite class. Readers must be smart. It doesn’t matter what they read. They hold books and their eyes move across the pages, so their IQ is slightly above the general population, obviously.
The discovery of this insecurity, or perhaps just shallowness, in my acquaintances was disappointing. Is there any activity I enjoy that I take care to present in a specific way to those around me? I really hope I don’t have any. Then again, maybe that’s what blogging is: presenting life in a specific way to those around you. Anyway, this realization has been important in reminding myself that insecurities are silly. Doing the things that you love to do is a personal experience. Never let the potential for judgement from others sway you from your path to happiness.