This is one of those stories that most people who actually read this blog already know, but it’s Friday so here goes.
When I was about 12 a new rule was instigated at home, during the week my brother and I were banned from watching TV, playing computer games or whatever other digital entertainment was about.
I can’t actually remember ever being upset about this, although I’m assuming that at the time I was. In any event, it had different effects on the two of us.
Evan watched TV whenever he got the chance, in fact if he’d been given the opportunity I’m sure he would have spent the hours between Friday afternoon and Sunday evening in front of the TV.
I stopped watching TV almost completely. Aside from the shows we watched as a family (X-Files and the Simpsons) I didn’t watch free to air TV. This had no impact on how much I enjoyed movies, but the whole regularly programmed television thing was lost on me.
As a blog post, there are a few different directions I could go from here. One is how I only later got back into TV once I could download it and watch it on demand. The important one is reading.
I don’t read a huge number of books a year, I know people who go through one book a week, but I’m a long way from there. One or two a month is probably close to my average.
What I learned to love, not watching TV was the stories in books. I wonder if I would have come into it as much if there hadn’t been a ban on TV. I’m still not sure, but I’d like to think that it would have happened anyway.
Reading for me, is what watching TV is for so many people these days. It’s how I switch off, relax and lose myself. At the end of the day they’re all just stories, the rest is a question of method. I love reading because the stories I love aren’t always the ones that have a big enough audience to justify an HBO budget.
Maybe reading is better than watching TV, maybe it keeps your mind active more, but at the end of the day I enjoy the story, and there are so many more stories in books than there are on the box.