Is watching TV really any different than reading?

Help Support Ruger Forum:

Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Messages
4,200
Location
Northern Illinois
Reading is admired and encouraged in our society, and watching TV is looked down upon. Many a night my wife retreats to the bedroom to read a novel while I remain in the living room watching something on TV. In truth I used to read a lot more than I do now, but that doesn't bother me at all. And while reading is seen as such a positive activity, watching TV is seen as a total waste of time. I find that I don't really see that much difference between the two activities. Both take us away from our immediate reality and transport us to another time, place or reality. And as far as escapism, I find that I can get engrossed in a movie on my TV screen and really keep out any thoughts about whatever crisis I may be dealing with in my real life, and while reading cannot do that as effectively. So despite what most folks think, I don't feel guilty at all for my evening diversions and for the fact that I have several unread books sitting on my bedside table.
 

dannyd

Hunter
Joined
Aug 10, 2016
Messages
2,213
Location
Florida
My wife is the opposite; she is a Professional Couch Potato, like many Babyboomers, she watches T.V. all the time and unfortunately believes what see she sees. ;)
 

BearBiologist

Hunter
Joined
Dec 4, 2021
Messages
2,640
We watch a lot of TV and I read for at least an hour a day. Reading allows you to use YOUR imagination, not someone else's. Tolkien, for instance, is much more epic than the movies are. Tom Clancy's "Without Remorse" went from a, IMO, GREAT novel to a "crappy" movie. Tony Hillerman's Navajo Police novels with Lt. Leaphorn & Jim Chee were made into a good series but nowhere as good as the novels. Ditto with C.J. Box's "Joe Pickett" novels.

Also, the books often can be more relevant. For instance, Tony Hillerman stayed at the El Rancho Hotel in Gallup and ate at Earle's for NDN tacos. Both are favorite places of ours when we travel through Gallup.
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Messages
4,200
Location
Northern Illinois
Plus, reading a book allows one to "go back" to see again.

I rarely watch live TV, but even that can be reversed as the DVR is always recording what is being watched. But mostly I watch stuff that I have recorded, or have on DVD or streaming from the various services that I subscribe to. About two years ago I re-watched the entire "Sopranos" series, enjoying it at least as much as originally. I did the same with "Breaking Bad" and of course "Band of Brothers". Right now I am up to season 7 of "Homeland" and it has been enough years since I saw it originally on Showtime that it is mostly like watching something new. If I had to rely upon live TV, and only the regular channels, I doubt I would watch much on the screen at all.

I have nothing against reading, and in fact I am in the middle of two novels right now. But I only pick them up occasionally, usually if I feel I can't sleep.
 

gnappi

Blackhawk
Joined
Jul 4, 2023
Messages
642
Location
Florida
Much of what I see on TV is segmented into 1-2 second snippets, cameras bouncing around the screen like a ball. Even the invasive cable commercials are viewed in 1/2 second snapshots it's dizzying. Anyone remember the cable TV ads... "Sure we charge money but we don't have commercials"?

Cable is gone at my house (my GF still has it) for OTA and the few channels I do watch are old westerns an Sci-Fi made before these 1 second vidiots got behind the lens.

I do have an extensive DVD library though that I can watch selections without seeing the same one (or ads) for a L-O-N-G time!
 

cowboycopus

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 11, 2013
Messages
360
Location
The South Coast of Mississippi
There only a few books that I have read more than once but TV almost all movies I have seen at least once.
I don't remember ever stopping to look up a word on TV, but in books, yes. Public school education.
 

Ride1949

Hunter
Joined
Dec 4, 2021
Messages
2,934
Location
Oregon
We watch a lot of TV and I read for at least an hour a day. Reading allows you to use YOUR imagination, not someone else's. Tolkien, for instance, is much more epic than the movies are. Tom Clancy's "Without Remorse" went from a, IMO, GREAT novel to a "crappy" movie. Tony Hillerman's Navajo Police novels with Lt. Leaphorn & Jim Chee were made into a good series but nowhere as good as the novels. Ditto with C.J. Box's "Joe Pickett" novels.

Also, the books often can be more relevant. For instance, Tony Hillerman stayed at the El Rancho Hotel in Gallup and ate at Earle's for NDN tacos. Both are favorite places of ours when we travel through Gallup.

Excellent answer.
 

mirglip

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 8, 2023
Messages
339
Location
Montana
If what you are reading is as degenerate and subversive as the social engineering you watch on teevee, then the differences are minor. But a library offers thousands of books and teevee is 100% trash.
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2009
Messages
12,198
Location
Webster, MD.
I am a reader. TV requires me to remain in one spot for a given period of time whereas when reading I can stop and start whenever I feel like it. Just finished "Five Days in November" by Clint Hill. He also wrote "Five Presidents". This was the Secret Service Agent that was pictured climbing on the back of the Presidential limo and grabbing Jackie Kennedy after JFK was shot. As has been said: " The man that doesn't read has no advantage over the man that cannot read."
 

Johnnu2

Hunter
Joined
Jun 26, 2003
Messages
3,102
Location
NYS
I never was good at reading......... never liked it as a kid, and still don't.
I do enjoy a couple of hours of mindless TV in the evenings...... always did.
Somehow, I've gotten thru probably 90% of my lifetime without suffering; at the same time, probably haven't contributed much to our world. I'm satisfied.
J.
 

Mike J

Hunter
Joined
Aug 5, 2007
Messages
4,300
Location
GA
Watching TV and reading are two completely different things. When I was young I was a voracious reader. Now I don't read that much. My reading is pretty much confined to spending some time each evening reading the Bible. I'm not going to slam TV. I find movies or episodes of old TV shows to watch. I don't really care about any of the new offerings. There is so much more detail that can be given in a book that cannot be communicated as well in a movie. Reading requires action. Watching TV is just sitting and observing a story.
 

Ride1949

Hunter
Joined
Dec 4, 2021
Messages
2,934
Location
Oregon
17139546445938870602946840956750.jpg
 
Joined
Mar 29, 2017
Messages
1,875
Location
Idaho
I will 2nd, It depends on what you're watching. TV can be a lazy man's reading. But I bet most just watch TV and zone out. Live games can't be read unless you turn on subtitles.
I read a lot of books and watch a lot of TV when the day is winding down. I have music on mostly when reading, sometimes the TV.
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2024
Messages
374
Location
Utah
Reading is admired and encouraged in our society, and watching TV is looked down upon. Many a night my wife retreats to the bedroom to read a novel while I remain in the living room watching something on TV. In truth I used to read a lot more than I do now, but that doesn't bother me at all. And while reading is seen as such a positive activity, watching TV is seen as a total waste of time. I find that I don't really see that much difference between the two activities. Both take us away from our immediate reality and transport us to another time, place or reality. And as far as escapism, I find that I can get engrossed in a movie on my TV screen and really keep out any thoughts about whatever crisis I may be dealing with in my real life, and while reading cannot do that as effectively. So despite what most folks think, I don't feel guilty at all for my evening diversions and for the fact that I have several unread books sitting on my bedside table.
Turn on the sub-titles. Reading and watching at the same time, problem solved!!
 

mirglip

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 8, 2023
Messages
339
Location
Montana
There is a saying..."Garbage in garbage out". When you watch teevee it's garbage in. 24 years ago I threw away my teevee and decided not to put garbage in my brain.
 

Latest posts

Top