182/365 What is a book?

What is a book? Fifty years ago that would not have been a question. Books were books: pages bound between hard or soft covers. You held it in your hands. You turned the physical pages. It had a smell — old books had their particular fragrance and new books had another.

Now we have a bigger choice in how we read books. We can read physical books, we can listen to audio-books or we can read e-books on Kindles, tablets or phones.

Back in the 1990s I listened to a lot of audio-books (then called books-on-tape) and people challenged my reading/listening, telling me that listening to audio-books didn’t count as reading.

Now I mostly read e-books and now some news articles are citing studies that tell me my comprehension of e-books is less than if I were reading a physical book.

I am reading more now because of e-books. Doesn’t that count for something?

I read a variety of all three formats, sometimes two at the same time. I think, no matter how I read, I am reading a book. I know others have different preferences, but we’re all reading.

Maybe the question should have been, “What is reading?”

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