Do Graphic Novels Count as Reading?

Short answer, yes. Long answer, keep reading. 

Graphic novels are sometimes looked down upon by elitist snobs who claim they are not “real” reading material. Here is the thing all reading, no matter what the format is, counts as reading. Graphic novels count, short stories count, plus ebooks count. It isn’t that deep. If anything, that attitude is beyond toxic. Graphic novels encourage younger folk to get into reading to begin with. Consider them the gateway to reading full-on books. Not to mention, they are popular with people who aren’t confident readers of any age. Perhaps they are trying to get back into the habit of reading, are not native readers or have issues focusing on long bodies of text. Graphic novels can be a great option for them. 

For those of you who might think “comics have way fewer words and pages than traditional novels, so that doesn’t count” I have this counterargument. Poetry. Poetry collections are also shorter with fewer words, but would you say that reading poetry doesn’t count as “real” reading? It’s simply a different format. All reading is good reading. They all have pros and cons, it’s up to individual readers to decide what they prefer. I myself read all of the above, in fact, I love reading graphic novel retelling of classics.

Also, graphic novels are great! Don’t you dare try and tell me that Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman is inferior to his novels by virtue of formant alone?  Asterix still gives me chuckles and I always get sad when I think of When the Wind Blows. They are masterpieces that deserve recognition regardless of what snobs think, they still count as reading. 

Some stories simply work better told in different formats. Some work is best told via graphic novels, some by poetry and others through traditional novels. Hell, it’s rare but we have all seen a movie or two that is better than the original book. Looking at you Jaws and Legally Blonde.

This dismissive mindset against graphic novels needs to end. It’s petty and unproductive. As long as folk are reading, the format doesn’t matter. Again, all reading is good reading. 

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