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.