Should graphic novels/comic books count towards my reading goals?

IMG-20140605-01034On Tuesday I finished reading The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan on my kindle. I liked it a lot and thought it was very atmospheric and creepy and now can’t wait for the TV show (I’ll continue with the trilogy at some point but I don’t feel as if I have to read them right now) So after finishing that I was thinking about what I’ll read next. I’m not reading loads right now (since I’m supposed to be writing my 15,000 word dissertation) but it is nice to be able to switch off the academic part of my brain and read for fun. I was considering The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson which I’ve borrowed from my mum but I don’t really fancy something so long (and possibly dense) right now. Thinking that led me to the comic books/graphic novels which are sitting on my shelf. I went to Orbital Comics a few weeks ago and bought four more comics so considered reading one of them.

My pick is The Losers Book Two by Andy Diggle and Jock. I read the first book a few months ago and fell in love with everything about it (it probably helps that I love the movie) and I wanted to continue the story straight away but unfortunately my go-to comic store is in Central London and it takes me about an hour to get there.

As I start the second book of The Losers I wonder if I should be taking note of when I read them like I do with regular books. Comic books may have pictures and fewer full sentences than a novel but they still take time to read. Since the start of this year I have read four comic books – the first The Losers book and all three volumes of Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s run of Young Avengers – but I didn’t add them to my Books of 2014 list. I know they’re not novels (and originally that was only for novels) but I’m finding that I can get a lot of enjoyment from comic books as well. I don’t think the medium is any less than 300-page novels, it’s just a different way to tell stories.

So I think I’ve decided I’m going to add the comics I read to my book list – I may not count them to my goal of reading 12 books this year but at least it will still be noted when I read them. I suppose one way to look at it is that often trade paper backs of comics and graphic novels are included on reading websites such as Goodreads – so if it’s good enough for Goodreads, it’s good enough for me. A comic may not take as long as some novels to read, but they can certainly take you to new places and get you involved with the characters and the story – Young Avengers vol. 1 made me laugh out loud. So the next thing I’m going to be reading for fun when I need a break from the dissertation is The Losers and I’m very much looking forward to it.

(This blog got away from me a bit and turned into a weird train of thought…)

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