Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Am I Cheating on My Reading Challenge?

The short answer to this is no, but I can't deny that when I take a look at my "Read 2018" shelf I feel a little guilty. At this point, manga and comics make up just under 50% of the books I've read this year. 

Part of me feels like this is cheating. 

After all, there's far less text in comics and manga (unless you're reading the last few chapters of Death Note in which case, Jesus Christ, you might as well have picked up a novel) so they're quicker to read. 

The rest of me is aware that this is a stupid feeling.

For you to cheat, there have to be rules to break in the first place. Can anyone tell me the rules of the Goodreads Reading Challenge? Is there a book somewhere that I can consult?

(And will it count towards your challenge?)

Logic dictates that if the book is on the site, it should count. 

What this really comes down to is book snobbery.

No matter how much we personally hate it, book snobbery is something we all have a little of deep down. How could we not? It's how we're raised. When you're learning to read, there's a huge emphasis placed on reading "proper" books. This generally translates into reading novels and phasing out stories with pictures. Pictures are, after all, for children. Never mind that many of the periodicals of the Victorian era published illustrated stories for all ages. Classics authors such as Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle originally published their stories with illustrations alongside them, and modern editions often follow suite. 

As we get a little older, "proper" book stops meaning simply novels and starts meaning a specific type of novel - usually classics. I remember when I was about sixteen and we were told we could pick any book off the shelf in the classroom to read. I picked up something I thought I'd enjoy. I can't remember the title. It was some time-hopping, dimension-jumping sci-fi, I think. I remember the teacher asking me if I was sure that was the one I wanted because she thought I could handle something more "difficult". 

For me, reading's not about difficulty. It's about enjoyment.

So, no, I don't think I'm cheating. Not really. I'm just mosying along, reading what I want. And isn't that the point of doing the Goodreads Reading Challenge in the first place?

Do you ever feel bad about what you choose to read, even though you know that, logically, said feelings are ridiculous?