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Did you know that E-Books and Audio Books are also real? Yeah, they exist and this is what I have to say about it.

Bookish Verbosity is a non-regular feature at AEROPAPERS where I talk about topics that are related to books, blogging, and the book community.

I was leisurely browsing Instagram when a post caught my attention and it really popped a nerve. It says it prefers “real books”. Real books = print books. Nope, no, the equation is so wrong. It is so wrong in many levels!!!

This is my biggest bookworm pet peeve: calling print books as “real” books. This term irked me because it sounded like e-books and audio books do not exist. I mean, look what Dictionary.com has to say about the term ‘real:’

Real (re.al 1 [ree-uh  l, reel] adjective)

  1. true; not merely ostensible, nominal, or apparent: the real reason for an act.
  2. existing or occurring as fact; actual rather than imaginary, ideal, or fictitious: a story taken from real life.

So do you get where my frustration and disappointment coming from?

So maybe I’m making a big deal out of it. And perhaps people use the term quite loosely. But it doesn’t take away the fact that perception on ebooks/audio books seem to be so little compare to print books. I feel it’s so unfair when every format has pros and cons when we use them. Print books are not perfect. Beautiful, yes, but not perfect.

I’m a proud digital reader. I read ebooks most of the time. Like every time. And I only receive ARCs in digital format. And I’m so thankful because it allows me to read ARCs. Without this format I wouldn’t even get the chance. Like zero! So it somehow upsets me that some belittling ebooks and audio books. Even print ARCs seem to me have so much clamor than eARCs. Now I don’t want a debate nor am I forcing everyone to love ebooks and audio books, but I don’t want to depreciate these two formats compare to print books. These two also deserve the term “real” because well, they’re real and created for the convenience of every reader.

I understand and respect people’s preferences. I don’t even like audio books but it’s still as real as ebook and print books to me. It also has list of advantages as well disadvantages. I’m not gonna discuss them here anymore, many had already done that. If you like print books, fine, just don’t diss someone who has other preferences.

Speaking of, do you know what upsets me more? When they think that digital reader is not real reader. Just so you know the story is the same. We read the same story. It’s the same book! And I bet the book was digital first it became a printed book, have you ever thought of that? Nikki of The Paper Sea wrote a very good post about not being real reader because she reads digitally. And I absolutely agreed to everything. Need enlightenment, read it.

Print books, e-books, and audio books are all the same, they are books, only the formats made them different. This is the message I want to convey: they are all REAL and made for our benefit. And you can’t take away the fact that they all exist ergo it’s real.

How about you, do also believe that all formats should be treated equally? If you’re a digital reader, does it also upset you that they belittle your preferred format? Care to share your thoughts with me.

2014 / 03 / 05

19 Responses to Bookish Verbosity: For the love of E-Books and Audio Books!

  1. Selina Quach says:

    I read both ebooks and paper books and enjoy them both the same so don’t really see what the fuss is about. I think we should pay more attention to praising (or disliking) a book for its content rather than being hung up on whether a book is in digital or traditional format.

    • Mitchii G. says:

      Right! It’s the content not the format. These formats are created for own benefit and shouldn’t be a basis which are true readers and which are not. Thank you Selina. :D

  2. I definitely see your point, Mitchii! All formats of novels are as real as they can get, even if some people prefer one format over another. I only read print copies and eBooks though, since I’m an impatient person and can’t sit still staring into thin air for 10++ hours, lol (when listening to audiobooks)! I’ve tried listening to an audiobook and gave up and started walking around the house even before the first hour ended. xD Anyway, lovely and very informative post, Mitchii!

    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings

    • Mitchii G. says:

      Haha, I did once and gave up, too. I don’t think audiobooks are for me, maybe I’m a fast reader. I don’t have the patience to wait to know the story, but some people find the format convenient and that is still a real reader reading a real book for me. Thanks Aimee. :D

  3. The phrase ‘real reader’ shouldn’t even exist because regardless of what format you use to read, once you read you are automatically a reader already. It really disgusts me how people divide readers simply because of the format of their books.

    • Mitchii G. says:

      Because they think it is not “real” book by default the reader isn’t. It’s very wrong concept for me. The format shouldn’t even matter. A real reader is after the story not the format. Thanks Charlotte. :)

  4. Hazel Ureta says:

    Ebooks ftw! I think I’m becoming an ebook convert. I used to loved reading physical books but now I take more time reading them compared to reading ebooks which is a little strenuous. I do love physical books because I love shopping for them and I adore the physicality it but I think I’m more comfortable reading ebooks now.

    It makes me sad that some people think ebooks aren’t real books. Or that ebook readers aren’t real readers. It’s okay to have a preference but judging ebooks or ebook readers is just pretentious. Reading is reading, in whatever way or format.

    • Mitchii G. says:

      I love physical books. I love collecting them, too, but this whole “real” books associated with it makes me utterly upset. They don’t even need to like it just don’t label who does use them. Thanks Hazel. :3

  5. I totally agree! I hate it when people say only print books are ‘real’ books. Ebooks and audiobooks are as real as print books. You get the same story, same emotions, same everything. If you really think about it they’re even more environment friendly than print books.

    New Bloglovin follower! ♥
    Andrea K. @ Books and Bindings

    • Mitchii G. says:

      Exactly, it’s not like we’re reading an entirely different story. Is what’s most important on reading, the story. So format shouldn’t even matters, we are all the same in whatever format we choose. Thanks Andrea (and for the follow. :D)

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  8. Stormy C says:

    I’m not a huge fan of calling print books “real” books. It’s all real! Whenever I’m talking about different formats, I definitely like to call them by name, which means if I’m talking about a paperback or hardback I’ll always use the term “print” or “physical” book over the term “real” book.

    • Mitchii G. says:

      Same here, because as far as we know they all real to us. Some readers seem to demean ebooks/audiobooks bcos of their formats. Like you I used the appropriate term. Thanks Stormy. :)

  9. I must admit that I’m someone who calls books ‘real’ books, but that’s definitely not because I don’t think others aren’t real! I read the same amount of e-books and I LOVE my Kobo, so I’d never say that reading e-books makes you a non-reader. For me, the thing that defines them as ‘real’ is the fact I can put them on my shelves :) I can’t really touch my e-books or show them off the same way as my book collection.

    • Mitchii G. says:

      Some people use the term loosely but what really upsets me is how they demean the format like it is not even half the worth of print books. It’s ok if they have a preferred format but devaluing it is what not makes it ok for me. Then there’s the label for digital readers, but that’s another story. ;)

  10. Nikki @ The Paper Sea says:

    Thanks for the shout-out for my post, Mitchii! <3

    As you know, I agree with you one hundred percent, but you put it much more beautifully than I could! I also hate it when people refer to print books as 'real' books. It is belittling! We’re all reading the same words at the end of the day, so there’s no reason or need to divide ourselves by preferred format!

    • Mitchii G. says:

      It was an awesome post (much, much articulate than mine), I just need to share it. :D I would like people to understand that the format does not define who “real” readers are. As long you love reading, you are a reader to me.

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