real books are words put together to make a story, by an author, for others to read. sheets of paper bound by a cover are not the only true way to convey a story.
saying things like this makes reading selective, elitist; you’re only a true reader if you read physical books. e-readers don’t count. they’re not real books. what kind of statement is that? it discourages people from reading e-books, which may discourage some from reading at all. is that the kind of message you want to send? of all the readers i’ve met in my life (and they are legion), i’ve never met one that doesn’t want others to read and to enjoy reading as much as they do.
e-books are great for some people. they use no paper, the books are cheaper, it’s easier to get the books you want, you don’t have to go to the bookstore every time you want to buy a book, it’s instantaneous, it’s easy to read in low light, etc. there are so many goddamn pros to reading electronically.
i don’t even use a kindle or a nook or an ipad or whatever. i like physical books just as much as you do, because i like to feel the pages as i turn them, and i like my house to smell of books, both new and old, and i like to see stacks of them lying around, and i like to fill my shelves with them.
but for me to say that they are the only real books is ridiculous. real books are books that don’t have an on and off switch, in the sense that you can lose yourself in them for as long as you read them. real books have the power to do that, no matter what format they come in. you can get lost in the pages of a kindle just as easily as you can immerse yourself in the pages of a “real” book.
you shouldn’t be concerned with how people read, you should be concerned with if they read.
The most important thing about books is the words inside them. The words will be exactly the same whether you read it on paper or on a screen. It’ll still be the same story, with the same characters and meanings and metaphors, whether you’re reading a paperback or on a Kindle. That seems to be a difficult concept for some people to grasp.
And it seems kind of hypocritical that the vast majority of people who complain about eReaders use tons of other electronic devices anyway. You have a computer, and probably an iPod and a phone. Why are some electronic devices more acceptable than others? Do you insist on writing everything with a quill and ink instead of typing because otherwise it’s not ~real writing~? Probably not. So why do the same with reading?