The other week, I completed my Goodreads goal. I managed to read 50 books, which I thought at the beginning of the year was an achievable one, and halfway through 2018 I made it! I’m thrilled that I managed to reach the goal.
Over on my Twitter, someone questioned whether I’d cheated my goal because I’d recently read some manga volumes, and that they shouldn’t count. Unfortunately this is a mindset I see far too often – not only on Twitter, but at work too. Lots of kids will be told that reading a comic book or preferring Tom Gates to Little Women isn’t real reading. I’m so tired of hearing that mindset, so would like to take an opportunity to tell you…
ALL READING IS READING
You read that right! All reading is reading. Whether you’re reading a comic book issue, a volume of manga, a hefty graphic novel, or even listening to an audio book – HOORAY! You’re reading!
Stories are so wonderfully accessible these days, with e-Readers enabling people to take many books with them at once and audio subscription services allowing downloads of audio books. It becomes a strange form of elitism when somebody says that reading a comic book or listening to an audio book “isn’t real reading”. That view is so sad, because these readers are also accessing their stories – just in a different way to the standard paperback format.
Consider that graphic novels and manga are huge works of art as well as written story. The considerable amount of time and art that goes into these books is stunning: line work, lettering, backgrounds, colouring, character design. This is all tied together with the story too, and many artists have worked on the project to get it to the standard you see when you pick it up from the shelf. Graphic novels are a portal into the artists passions and their art, just like a book from your favourite authors would be.
If you find yourself thinking this thought when you see a friend enjoying an audio book, or a kid reading the latest Batman issue, catch yourself. Because you could very well put somebody off reading altogether. Instead, encourage them! Ask them to recommend you an audio book they enjoyed, or a graphic novel they love. I know many people who enjoyed the audio book of The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue over reading the book, and I’m happy that lots of people got to access such a brilliant story in a different way.
If you’re still not convinced, please check out Sabrina, the graphic novel which is the first of its kind to be featured in the longlist of the Man Booker prize. This is a huge achievement, and really opens up graphic novels for readers who may have not known about the stories they hold.
If you want some graphic novel recommendations, let me know in the comments about what you’d like to read! I’d love to recommend you some excellent ones!