Being able to read small stuff comes with being myopic
(-10 here...) If a font has the right shape and thickness, I can read it on basically any size. For example, I can read laserprinted Veranda and Modern Latin down to point 5, when not using my glasses.
While it does look ridiculous to hold a book about 12cm from your eyes, I actually prefer to hold it close and read extremely small fonts (if need be), than to hold it at 30cm and reading bigger fonts using my reading / computer glasses. The latter is much more tiring.
But, sitting 12cm from a 24 inch computer monitor in the office would be ridiculousness of epic proportions.