If you say you’ve never spent all afternoon with a bag of Doritos binge-watching an entire TV series, then you’re probably lying. With things like Netflix and Hulu, it’s so easy to spend hours upon hours in front of a screen. I’ll even admit to watching a whole series in under two weeks and watching multiple movies in a row on my laptop.
However, this may be causing more harm than good. There’s very little to be gained from watching so much TV. I get it; it’s convenient and it’s entertaining. But there’s something that is much more beneficial and way more entertaining: books. Remember those? You probably had to read some in high school for English class, but have most likely stopped as you’ve gotten older. Books are amazing sources of fun and adventure. Here’s 5 reasons why books are better than TV:
1. Books are unique.
When you crack open a new book, you’re about to read a totally one-of-a-kind story that you’ve never heard before. With TV shows and movies, so many of them tell basically the same story over and over again, but with different faces and scenery. Books are different because no two books have the same plot, and also because they force you to use your imagination. When a character is described in a book, the reader conjures up a picture in their head of what they look like. But in movies and TV, what you see is what you get.
2. Books don't drag on and on.
There’s nothing more annoying than a TV show that won’t end, but needs to (*cough cough* Pretty Little Liars). You all know what I’m talking about; those shows that have become so bad in later seasons but you have to force yourself to keep watching, only because you’ve been a loyal fan for a long time. Books don’t inflict that kind of torture on you. They start, they grow and continue on for a few hundred pages, then they end. And that’s how it should be.
3. Books are portable.
Believe me, if I could take my TV with me everywhere I go, I totally would. But convenience and fear of public humiliation stop me from doing so. With a book, their perfect size allows you to stick them in your purse or coat pocket and read them while you’re waiting at the doctor’s office or before a meeting. Portable adventures—it just doesn’t get better than that.
4. Books make you a better writer.
A wise person once said, “The more you read, the better you’ll write.” That wise person was my high school English teacher, and she was absolutely correct. There’s a reason why the best writers I know are also avid readers. When you read, you surround yourself in quality writing that you’ll remember later down the road. When I’m stuck and can’t figure out how to word something, sometimes I’ll think of the ways that my favorite authors write and how they tell their stories, and it usually helps. A well-written sentence can have an unexpected and lasting effect on you.
5. Books tell stories in a way that TV and movies can't.
We all have those friends that insist on reading the book before its movie adaptation comes out, and declare the book to be so much better than the movie. 99.9% of the time, those friends are correct. Books are immensely more entertaining than the TV or movie adaptation, simply because they tell the story in so much more detail. It’s nearly impossible to capture a book’s emotion and descriptions on screen books often have pages where there’s no dialogue, only the character’s thoughts. TV and movies often leave these parts out, and thus leave out major parts of books.
The next time you’re tempted to park yourself on the couch and stare at a screen, I challenge you to pick up a good book instead. Finishing a book is more rewarding and far more satisfying than finishing a TV series—I promise.
14 reasons why a book is better than TV or film
May 17, 2015
|By Adam Smith
I feel like I may incur the undue wrath of many based on the title of this article alone, so I’ll begin by pointing out that I bloody love films and TV. I just also really enjoy a good book, and am hurt somewhere deep inside by the apparent lack of real readers this generation seems to have grown. And I say ‘apparent’ because I know there are readers out there somewhere, but many seem ashamed to admit this fact for fear of social ridicule or peer-jeering.
I also believe there to be bookworms who are yet to realise their love for the written word, and thus I pebbledashed this delightful little list together of reasons why a book may just about be better than – or at least as good as – the telly-box and silver screen.
1. Books are actually portable
Bus and train journeys can last a long time, and mindlessly scrolling through your MyFace / InstaTwit newsfeed is mind-meltingly mundane (on a good day…). And no matter how much we claim watching the latest blockbuster film on our mobile through tiny, tinny headphones is wonderful, it doesn’t have the same oomph as it does when it’s watched on a big screen. A book is the same quality no matter when or where you read it – be that during a commute, up a mountain, or queuing to get a ticket to see the newest blockbuster film…
2. Books don’t do batteries
Another thing…these newfangled portable devices we often watch things on don’t half drink a lot of juice! This is another knock on TV and film’s portability: there are rarely phone chargers in the forest, or in the middle of the park. Books don’t need charging, or recharging. They just are, like our desire for portable entertainment.
3. Books are flingable, should the moment require it
Though this article is promoting books and their unquestionable goodness, there are, of course, some stinkers amongst the perfumed pretty ones. And there’s nothing more satisfying than launching said stinker across the room in a fit of outrage. If a film’s terrible, you have to go through the hassle of ejecting the disk before you can Frisbee it frustratedly at the nearest wall. But disks can damage your painted walls, and shatter expensive porcelain vases. And if TV programmes are bad (which they often are), throwing the TV at the floor is hardly cost-effective anger management. Books are flimsy, dainty little delights (paperbacks, at least). Throwability, then, is in their very design.
4. Books don’t have adverts or trailers
When you decide “Hmm…I think I’d like to read now”, your eyes are not forced to endure the abysmal abominations that are modern television advertisements before, during, or after the session. In a similar vein, a book will not tell you to switch off your mobile phone, or try to sell you loyalty cards that you neither want or need. Books are all business, all of the time.
5. Reading nurtures your imagination. Always.
I won’t deny the occasional documentary or indie film will really work your noggin, but television in general turns your mind into marmalade, and the average Hollywood film requires as much thought as naming Girls Aloud did – less, even! A book, no matter its subject or content, requires you to engage your brain. It gently cajoles you into imagining worlds and picturing scenes, into empathising with characters and considering new ideas. This is good for you, kind of like how exercising is…just less exerting. Actually, they aren’t that similar… reading is wonderful. Exercise is hateful.
6. Reading embellishes one’s idiosyncratic lexicon…
…or. in humanspeak, improves your vocabulary! If you read a lot, there is simply no way the range and breadth of the words at your disposal won’t expand. Television rarely gives you time to pick up or understand any new words that may be introduced, and film rarely goes after the bigger, more meaningful terms. Books can help you better express your ideas and feelings, and even aid your understanding of the world around you. Meritorious!
7. It can help make ewe a better speller, two
So many people claim they can’t spell well (for the record, it’s: W-E-L-L), but reading creates a greater familiarity with even the toughest of spellings. TV and film only really engage your eyes with moving images (hence the name ‘movies’), so they’re unlikely to help you on the spelling front. Books – 1, TV and Film – 0.
8. Reading is pretty damn cheap
I love the cinema, sincerely I do! But I can almost buy a Ferrari for the same price as a ticket, medium popcorn, and a watered-down lemonade. New release DVDs and boxsets are pretty pricey too, and though a new hardback book can come with a painful pricetag, there is this thing called The Library where books are FREE! And yes, I do mean legally free, before you get all ‘pirated DVDs’ on me…
9. You also get a lot more for your money
Often people complain that books are too long, but they can also get pretty vocal when the new film they went to see was too short. Books give you hours of entertainment, and can also be re-read in many instances. If you’re into calculating ‘Money Spent : Length of Entertainment’ ratios (as we all most certainly are…), books win hands-, feet-, and ears-down!
10. Reading is highly thought-provoking
Television and film primarily dazzle the senses with stupendously stunning special effects, but this fails to engage your grey matter in any meaningful way. Books will leave you pondering and questioning, and may even encourage you to do some of your own further reading to augment your own knowledge and understanding. Books are pretty experimental at times, too, which can really roast your intellect. And that’s a good thing – promise!
11. Reading is more detailed than television or film
Due to the standard runtime of a television programme or film, the completion of the plot within those time constraints is the primary focus. As a result, expansion on character development or story arc is often omitted, which can be a real downfall. Books don’t have these same limitations, and novels are renowned for their rich and waffley nature. And I like waffles.
12. Books are fall-asleepable
My mum once fell asleep during a Lord of the Rings film…at the cinema…and snored. As a result, she annoyed many of the surrounding viewers, spent the price of admission to sleep in an uncomfortable chair, and demonstrated her ability to outdo the war-cries of the orcs (she can seriously snore!). Fall asleep when reading a book, and no-one really minds. Hell, even dropping the book on your face isn’t so bad…
13. Reading is peaceful
We’re not in the 60s any more, granted, but we all need some peace, maaaaaan! Films require volume, and television is boisterous and raucous at the best of times. Reading a book is genuinely soothing, and it’s not a bad thing to switch off every now and again. New books smell pretty sexy, too, and help encourage the state of calm. Far out, sister!
14. Book folk are more kind when it comes to **SPOILERS**
I don’t recall a time that a book’s plot twist or character death was ever ruined for me by somebody blurting it out in the canteen, or inconsiderately ranting about it online – no matter how late I was in reading the latest release. But if I were to miss a single episode of Breaking 24 Lost Vampire Thrones, I can actually guarantee I’ll find out **SPOILER ALERT**Sean Bean dies…again.
Have YOUR say.
Why do you prefer books to films and TV?
Maybe you disagree entirely?
Let us know in the comments below.
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After too many years of reading substandard web journalism, Adam decided it was time to take action into his own pen-wielding hands. As Editor-in-Chief, he propels NUBI forward, offering his own views and thoughts on all things creative, artistic and downright unusual.