There are plenty of reasons to turn off the television and do something else instead; however, rarely is the "something else" picking up a book and reading. Television is a great source of entertainment, I can attest to that, but today more people are watching television, and less people are actually reading. Reading has plenty of great benefits; keep reading to find out what they are and the reasons to turn off the television.
1. You Can Increase Your Vocabulary
One of the greatest reasons to turn off the television and read is because reading can be amazingly educational. You can learn a bunch of new words in only a few minutes! Don’t get me wrong, you can definitely hear new words and learn them while watching television, but you’re more likely to look up words you don’t know when you’re reading. Television provides exquisite context, but it’s a lot harder to ignore a word you don’t understand and still get the full picture when you’re reading. Pick up a classic, and I guarantee you’ll increase your vocabulary by at least 5 words.
2. You Can Develop Your Imagination
If you turn off the television and let your imagination tell the story of a book, it’ll be an absolute adventure. Television shows and movies are COMPLETE reflections of someone else’s imagination, unless of course the writers add a little suspense. However, in books you can imagine those small details in your own way. If the writer says, “She wore black boots,” you can pick the kind of boots: heels, cowboy boots, rain boots, etc.
3. You’ll Give Your Eyes a Rest
Another great reason to turn off the television is to give your eyes a break! Did you know that when you look at a television, phone, or computer screen, you blink 60% less than you would normally? Sheesh! That’ll dry out your eyes quickly and may even cause irritation! Physical books or E-ink doesn’t have that same effect. Give your eyes a rest from the LCD screens!
4. You’ll Give Your Brain a Rest
Sometimes when I go to relax and turn on the television, I don’t really feel rested afterwards. I may have loved the show or movie I saw, but my mind and body don’t feel completely rested. If that happens to you too, it’s time you gave the television a break and read a book over a nice glass of lemonade.
5. You Can Learn
Reading can help you learn in ways television can’t or won’t. There are amazing documentaries and cool programs that teach people, but books provide much more detail than a 2-hour program could. Which takes me to the next point…
6. Movies Don’t Tell the Full Story
I instantly get frustrated when I’m watching a movie after I’ve read the book, and they leave out important parts! Even though I loved the movie, I was HIGHLY upset when I saw that the filmmakers took out and changed parts from ‘The Hunger Games.’ There are way too many details to fit into a few hours of a movie. If you want to get the whole story, read the book!
7. Some Great Stories Haven’t Been Turned into Movies or Television Shows Yet
Another great reason to turn off the television and pick up a book is because many amazing books haven’t been turned into movies. You’re missing out! If you’re looking for a great story, you don’t have to watch television to find it. Give reading a chance, and see if you can find an amazing story that isn’t on film!
If you love productions that are based off of books, I’m sure you’ll love the books as much, if not more! Reading has all sorts of benefits, and you should try it! Do you know of any other reasons why turning off the television and reading a book can be a better option? Do tell!
Sources: Strouf, J. L. (1993). The literature teacher's book of lists. West Nyack, N.Y.: Center for Applied Research in Education.