View Full Version : Reading v Television

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08-13-2011, 02:51 AM
I have not read Da Vinci Code but I think there's some literary merit in pageturners. The author's storytelling technique has to be stellar for the page to turn.

In some way the Harry Potters are pageturners too, and Rowling certainly has her own stereotypes (about fat people for instance)

Harry Potter is way better written than Da Vinci Code, in my opinion.

Reading the discussion with interest , without having much to add. Like many here, I was a reading addict all through my childhood and youth. Reading instead of sleeping, reading while eating, reading and skipping classes, reading instead of socializing, reading way above my comprehension level. Now Internet took a big chunk of time out of it.
I still love reading and read quite a bit, though being a very aurally- oriented person I also listen to lots of audiobooks. Had a complex about it for years ( inferior, somebody else dictates pace of comprehension, etc), but got over it as I truly process best through ears, not through eyes.
But as for books vs TV- I would back up Tinami's early post. It all depends on quality of a particular book/ TV program, as well a particular emotional need at the moment. My complaint is that great movies are not as easily available as great books, so TV /movie quality tends to be inferior. It takes effort for me to get the best international childrens' movies for my son; or to get the best art house movies currently playing ( not living in NY, it's tricky. When I go to NYC, it' "OMG, a different world..."). I still remember seeing Kieslowski's "Blue", being completely gutted inside, and thinking " It is as good as any novel". Bu it's an art house movie, and stuff like that is rarely shown on TV.
So no point to my ramblings, except " does not matter which media, they all can provide great quality, but one has to discriminate". And when one does not want to discriminate, it's cool, too. Buffy all the way.

08-13-2011, 03:10 AM
I enjoy both reading and watching television, but if I HAD to choose, it would be reading. I have books in my collection that are like dear old friends to me, and I can't imagine ever giving them up (I tend to re-read books that I really like a lot!)

I'm with you on this one.
Since I barely see 3 o 4 series a week during the season, i don't think i would miss TV so much, but I would be completly lost without my books.

08-13-2011, 03:16 AM
I gained weight and became significantly more sedentary at 11 years old. The primary reason was my discovery of the internet.

I just got rid of cable. I have always read and watched TV in moderation. But I still spend hours a day in front of this thing. Before I got a computer, the majority of my time was spent outside.

08-13-2011, 03:19 AM
Even the mostly terribly plotted and terribly written of Robin Cook's medical thrillers is more challenging than Entertainment Tonight - though Entertainment Tonight is more interesting and entertaining.

But the print equivalent of Entertainment Tonight would not be a novel. It would be a magazine such as People or TV Guide (the articles, not the tables of show listings). Would that kind of content be more challenging to read than to watch. Or six of one, half a dozen of the other?

The TV equivalent of a Robin Cook thriller would be any hour-long (or longer) action drama.

I'm trying to think of a TV-equivalent of Da Vinci Code. I don't think the normal TV drama are comparable since they are basically short stories with similar plots. I guess the TV equivalent will be an exciting movie made for TV.

Yeah, or that. Or an exciting movie made for the theatres and shown on TV afterward, edited as necessary for commercials and broadcast standards.

08-13-2011, 06:43 AM
But the print equivalent of Entertainment Tonight would not be a novel. It would be a magazine such as People or TV Guide (the articles, not the tables of show listings). Would that kind of content be more challenging to read than to watch. Or six of one, half a dozen of the other?

I find it more challenging to read People than watch Entertainment Tonight. I do both at my gym. The reading is more challenging first because I have a choice among various magazines and scan the covers before picking one. Then I look at the table of contents and if nothing interests me I start flipping the pages. I look at the pictures and read the titles, then choose what items I want to read. If it is an interesting story with pictures I read the captions and if there are multiple captions, I have to look at the numbers on the photographs and connect them to the captions. If the story continues at a page later than the next page, I need to intentionally go to that page.

I suppose the key words here are discrimination and attention to detail/making connections. If someone just flips through the pages of the magazine without really looking at it, stopping only when an image jumps out at them, it would be more like watching ET.

I guess people do that, read without really reading?

Ladies at my gym find me a very curious creature as I've usually got a book and read between sets. I've seen maybe one or two other women do that in the seven years I've been going. And only one or two other women who turn on the news when they are using the exercise machines.

08-13-2011, 11:57 AM
I don't watch a lot of TV, and I do read a lot of books, but I think I would be kidding myself to say that most of what I read requires a lot of brain power or particular engagement. If you do, more power to you, but that would have more to do with the quality of what you read rather than the mere fact that it IS reading.

Got the point :) , true that not all the books require a lot of brain power, still I believe that when I read I'm more engaged, if only because while I'm reading I'm not usually doing many other activities (I could be eating or occasionally listening to music, but not a lot more), so I'm more on the book. While watching TV, I'm usually also chatting on internet, chatting with friends/family, maybe reading a newspaper/magazine, etc and so my attention is really low.
But maybe it's just that I watch TV only to relax...
Then I usually remember better what I've read (even if it's a bad book) than what I've seen on TV, but could be just how my memory works...

08-15-2011, 10:17 PM
There is a time and place for everything. :shuffle:

Like when you can't get hot, wild sex, so you just read about it?:lol:

Artistic Skaters
08-20-2011, 09:32 PM
I grew up in an environment where there were no restrictions when it came to watching television, & I was & still am an avid reader. If forced to make a choice, I would choose books over TV. Although I regularly do some of my reading while watching television.

08-20-2011, 09:50 PM
Like when you can't get hot, wild sex, so you just read about it?:lol:

Why is this a mutually exclusive concept for you, I wonder... :D