Why Books are Better Than TV

Photo from .reid.

Photo from .reid.

Books Have No Commercials (Sort Of)

As you’re enjoying Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, you won’t be interrupted with ads for Viagra! No, your virility will come not from a bottle, but from the torrid affairs within the pages of the book! You have no need for base consumerist desires – you can live viacriously through Gatsby. That being said, ereaders have ads, which is only a few steps away from commercials. Sigh. But not everyone is against them, so maybe this is just another win.

You Can Read a Book in a Noisy Area

Have you ever tried to watch TV (even with headphones) despite the cacaphony around you? Virtually impossible! And if Closed Captioning to the Rescue! was your first thought, I’d like you next to explain to me how that’s different from a book with lots of pictures. (Ok fine, moving pictures. But still. You’re then just reading your TV). A good book makes it relatively easy to tune out the noise around you, and that’s a definite perk.

Books Don’t Need to be Charged

Batteries not included! Books (at least print books) are great to have with you in case you get stranded on a deserted island. That copy of Middlemarch that you always meant to slog through… well, it’ll come in handy more than your iPad would. At the very least, you could burn the book to keep you warm!

Books Can be More Risque than TV

This is becoming less and less true. However, if you can remember the shock of a celebrity “nip slip“, then you’ll concede that your Harlequin romances expose waaaaay more than that. In books, profanities aren’t bleeped out. Nakedness does not have to be censored. Murder mysteries can be vividly horrifying. Until we start watching the kind of programming that Atwood described in her dystopic novel Oryx and Crake, TV will pale in comparison to the delightfully obscene descriptions within books.

Reading Improves Your Vocabulary

Jane Austen taught me the word “supersillious” and Kim _ introduced me to “bellicose“. Television taught me that acceptable English is not always proper English, a fact I was horrified to discover at the age of twelve when my father explained to meaning of “vernacular“. Granted, I have learned some words from TV, but there’s nothing like seeing it in a sentence. And now, with many ereaders, you can simply press your finger on the word to have the definition revealed to you! Like magic! Nerdy, nerdy magic.

“What did he just say?” is Never an Issue

I hate it when I’m watching a show, and the male lead says something that is probably very crucial – and somehow, I’ve missed it! Often, it’s because my mother has chosen that exact moment to comment upon some insignifiacant detail (haha sorry, Mom!). And if it’s live TV, there’s no going back. With books, you can read and re-read elequent prose to your heart’s delight! Definitely a perk.

Reading Books Makes You Sound Smart

And somehow, telling people that you watch a lot of TV will never have the same effect. (This excellent reason has been borrowed from Monkey Poop.)

Books Are Close to The Heart

Have you ever given a friend a DVD set, with a thoughtful message written inside? Probably not. But books are certainly treasures that we give, share, and cherish. They tend to have a prized place in our home, or in our heart. Television, while enjoyable, does not carry with it the feelings that books do.

So go, read a book. Savour the feeling and pay attention to the advantages. You may have to describe the experience to your great-grandchildren one day!


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