is the speaker's (author's) sense of time. Tense is a grammatical quality
we are dealing with two quite different features of the verb when we speak
of tense. One feature is the time of the action of the verb; the other
is the type or kind of the action of the verb--in other words:
the when and the how.
we are speaking about the time (when the action happens), we usually reserve
the word tense for this.
When we are speaking about the type (how the action happens), we call this
The time of the action is not exactly the same as the tense of
the action. Tense describes the time of the action in relationship to time of
the writing or speaking about the action. In other words, tense is the speaker's
or writer's sense of time.
Tense has nothing to do with the reader's time.