Reading comes in all sort of forms

Posted 1/26/20

Each year I find myself trying to engage in book reading challenges and always find myself coming up short. I either don’t read enough books, read and forget to count them as part of my challenge, or realize that I’m doing way many more versions of “reading” that might not simply be with a physical (or digital) book in my hands – and this is coming from a librarian.

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Reading comes in all sort of forms

Posted

Each year I find myself trying to engage in book reading challenges and always find myself coming up short. I either don’t read enough books, read and forget to count them as part of my challenge, or realize that I’m doing way many more versions of “reading” that might not simply be with a physical (or digital) book in my hands – and this is coming from a librarian.
You see, the more time I spend in the world of libraries, the more I realize that reading comes in all sorts of forms, we just have to accept that how we are reading something is just as good as if we are watching a story unfold on television of hearing it via a speaker.
​I always enjoy making an annual reading challenge goal on Good Reads, a website that allows you to track books you have read, want to read and have finished. You get book reviews from readers and also discover genres of books you might never have heard of before. The annual reading challenge is a great way to hold yourself accountable, or help you realize how many books you didn’t read (as has been my case many times.) If you do not have a Good Reads account and you are an active book reader, then I suggest you take the time to sign up. Don’t worry, there is an app for that too, which is great and makes tracking books as easy as the simple scan of a book’s ISBN code.
​But what happens if you are like me, a true seeker of storying telling regardless the form? You might feel you fail your annual reading challenges. However I’ve come to realize I’m not failing at it, I’m simply filling my “reading time” in more ways than just one.
Some of the best stories we can engage in can also be found on television, movies and even in podcasts. Growing up, I would hear people say that you shouldn’t sit in front of a television all the time for multiple reasons. Now I hear people say, kids should get out from in front of the television and read a book. Yes we should be reading books – we should all be reading books, expanding our vocabulary and stretching our minds through literacy. But sometimes the greatest stories are foundjust as richly in cinematic viewing as they are in holding a book. It’s different forms of storytelling that do essentially the same thing – stretch our minds, take us to new places we might never visit, and introduce us to euphoric feelings of contemplate. Growing up I rarely heard movie watching and television watching as referred to as storytelling.
Star Wars. Rocky. Terminator. Lonesome Dove. Transformers. Back to the Future. I could let the list continue. I could even add to the list of shows that were books first – Chronicles of Narnia. IT. Outlander. Each of them vastly compounded with lots of stories to tell about characters and worlds for those of us who enjoy watching them to get wrapped up in. You all have your own favorites that make the lists too.
​Listening to podcasts are becoming a favorite of mine. Drew and I spend a lot of time in the car and true crime podcaststend to keep us interested. There are a few good ones out right now featuring cases in Walker County that have us intrigued. Funny how people are “enjoying stories” and they don’t even realize it. So what does my reading list consist of this year? A goal of twenty books. Tons of new Netflix, Hulu and other streaming service shows to watch. And, of course, crime and murder podcasts.

Laura Pitts is a former Daily Mountain Eagle reporter, and currently serves as director of the Scottsboro Public Library.