At some point, I feel as if I stopped reading real books. I don’t mean that in the sense of, “I read comics now, and comics aren’t real books,” because… well, that’s ridiculous. No, I mean it in the sense of, I feel as if almost everything I read nowadays is digital, and I’m not sure how I feel about that.
Certainly, the majority of my comic reading these days is digital — the perks of having digital access to comps and preview copies, I can’t deny it — as is the majority of the prose I’m reading, which is almost entirely for research for the Secret Project That I Dare Not Name. (I should be reading more prose, I feel, but there’s something about the last year or so that’s made that feel especially difficult for me. Hopefully, my concentration will return when things are less apocalyptic.)
I can’t deny that digital reading is certainly easier on a regular basis, and there’s something to be said for having a significant library at your fingertips without ever having to get out of bed. (Laziness, it’s a wonderful thing.) It feels different, though; not just in the physical sense — there’s a beautifully tactile appeal of reading physical editions for me, right down to how each individual page can feel, depending on the paper stock; call it the pain of the former graphic design student, I confess — but in the sense of, in a strange way, the act of reading is almost a different thing.
I skim more when reading digitally, I think, and I lose concentration more easily when staring at a screen for long periods. Not having the physical indicator of just how far I am in a book means that I can be less patient with reading, as well.
I should (and could) make a point of buying more books, spending more time at the library, to fix this. In a post-pandemic world, I’m sure I will. For now, though, I simply find myself missing books as I swipe to another page on my iPad.