What counts as reading?

First things first, all reading counts as reading. All of it. Not gatekeeping here. I just wanted to talk about some things.

Audiobooks. Of course they count, the story is still getting into your noggin and also it’s ableist as fuck to say they don’t count! Not everyone can read a physical or ebook even. And for me personally (I am disabled but can read any format, though physical books can be painful) audiobooks are DIFFICULT!

I’m autistic and slow to process things. Can I? Sure. But i’m slow at it. Give me a minute or two. It’s SO HARD to process an audiobook. That’s why i’ve started with books i’ve already read in ebook or physical form or nonfiction (since then at least I don’t have to keep up with a fictional narrative). It’s HARD WORK and HEADACHE inducing (literally) for me personally to read audiobooks, so if i’m putting in that amount of work with them damn straight i’m going to count them!!

I haven’t heard a SINGLE person mention before how hard audiobooks are to process so if i’m not alone in this PLEASE let me know! I feel so dumb with them. T.T It probably has something to do with my brain noodle. Though I do have auditory processing disorder as well, which might be a part of it but certainly (in my case) isn’t the main problem. I’m slow to process anything, not just audiobooks, but trying to process them is even harder than other things that I already struggle with.

Comics/Manga/Graphic Novels, typically have words that you read but also you need to read the pictures to get the full story. I’ve heard people talk about reading a typical size manga in like 30 minutes or less and that confuses me to no end, it just makes me think..did…did you read the pictures? Because if not, you’re missing out on a large part of the story and aren’t the pictures a big part of the point in these kind of books? I mean if you can read them that fast, including the pictures, more power to you. I know i’m a slow reader. A normal manga will take me at least 2-3 hours. Reading pictures can also be difficult for some people due to disabilities.

With the whole “did you read the pictures” part, i’m not saying you can’t skim books. If skimming gets you through a book, have fun. Read your way. I just don’t get it in graphic novel format in regards to not looking at/reading the pictures, since they seem kind of the point? That’s all.

Picture books, normally for children but, not always. I’ve read a picture book, no words, that wasn’t for children (and no it wasn’t porn) that you can read a story through the pictures alone. The story I remember has no words, but still reading a story nonetheless, is The Lion by Frédéric Brrémaud. A bittersweet story about a lion in the harsh jungle. Has graphic/gory scenes and I felt sorry for the lion. No, I wasn’t reading words but I still read a book. Read a story. And you are really going to tell a child their picture book doesn’t count? Really? (And adults can read picture books too, they still count and can be really good!)

Magazines. I think I just found how awesome magazines can be since I just realized I could read some through my kindle unlimited and as of typing this i’ve only read one so far, BBC Wildlife July 2021 issue (will be in my Recent Reads #20 post, the next post hopefully) and I loved it. I read the articles, does that not count? It counts. I have more magazines (on my kindle) now to read, some through kindle unlimited some not because I went looking through the magazines to see what was available of interest to me. And damn right I shall count them. There are magazines in many topics/interests. They count.

Audiobooks, graphic novels, comics, manga, short stories, magazines, ebooks, picture books, children’s books, it’s all reading. Making someone feel like they are “reading wrong” or something, isn’t going to make them love reading more or anything positive. It will do the opposite generally. If a story is getting into your noggin’, that’s all that counts. Not the format.

What kind of stories and formats do you like? Are audiobooks difficult for you too?