Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Television and Reading

I've been thinking about television and reading and how I feel about the two a lot recently.  I walk Chief when I get home from work and now that it's getting dark earlier I'm realizing how many houses in my neighborhood have the television on when I walk at night.  Almost every house has that flashing blue glow coming from their windows. 

When people ask me how I read so much, my first response is always that I don't watch much tv.  I also have to admit that I have an issue with TV as the focal point in people's houses.  In Luke's and my first house, you walked directly from the front door into the living room.  It drove me crazy that we had a big screen tv and that our furniture faced the tv.  I feel like it screamed "this is what we value."  So in our new home, we decided that the TV would go in the basement.  When you walk into our home, the first thing you see is our living room, where we display books and where, I hope, the furniture is inviting for conversation as opposed to mindless vegging.  It's not so much something that I note in other people's houses as it is something that I hate in my own home.

I realize that it's somewhat hypocritical of me to enjoy books that are, in some cases, the written equivalent of Jersey Shore, while frowning on mindless TV consumption.  But I still do.  It's not that I never watch TV, or that when I watch I only watch educational programs (I love the Real Housewives), I just don't like it to be the focal point of my home - the thing that my furniture centers around, the thing you notice first when you walk inside.  I like that our house now says we like music (the piano) and books (the library) and eating together/conversing (the furniture layout) not that we like to sit and look at the glowing blue box. 

What do you guys think?  Am I a judgmental overthinker?  Or do you feel the same way?  Is it something that has ever occurred to you?

9 comments:

  1. It's been almost 2 years that we haven't had our tv in our main living areas, and it's actually very nice. Now, instead of accidentally wasting time, we have to make just as much effort to sit and watch tv as to sit and read a book. It really starts to put your time into perspective.

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  2. I remember saying to my sweetie that I don't want tv in our bedroom that was the biggest laugh ever.

    I love your idea, it would never work if I wanted everyone happy in my household.

    I am still working on them not turning the tv on as soon as we get home just for background noise, sigh, drives me crazy.

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  3. The first thing you see when you walk in my house is the TV. And I am completely ok with that. I read a lot, but I am also a glutton for reality TV too (including Jersey Shore!). I actually prefer to have the TV on while I blog :)

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  4. This would never, never, NEVER work in my home. MH is addicted to the TV. It comes on the second he gets home and stays on until the second he goes to bed.

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  5. Luke is also a big fan of TV. It's another reason I really like that we have it downstairs - it means the main portion of our house is quiet, even when he is watching, which is almost all the time. If our basement wasn't finished it never would have worked.

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  6. I agree with you. I hate the TV and I hate having it on (This has been a gradual change for me). We got rid of cable a couple of years ago and it was the best decision ever. I love that when people walk into my home they see books as well.

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  7. I know that we are totally weird, but we ditched our TV a couple of years ago and haven't looked back. We have netflix and love hulu to watch a couple of shows, but like you I didn't want our whole house set up around the TV, and since we live in a small apartment, the only real option was to get rid of it.

    As our "mindless" activities, Shaun would rather be on the computer and I would rather read, so it works out really well for us.

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  8. i always have the tv on. if the tv wasnt on the radio would be on. i cant stand silence. i still read a lot. i will turn on the tv to read haha. i just cant stand to be in silence. i have a too over active imagination for silence and all the creaks it brings out!

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  9. We have only one TV and, like yours, it's downstairs in the family room. That means no TV in the bedroom or in the kitchen. I've noticed that when my husband isn't home in the evening I stay upstairs in the living room reading (or often, and TOO often) on the computer. Entering my house you see a weird assortment of furniture -- some old, some contemporary, some hand-made; my dad made tables from slices of tree trunks -- with overcrowded bookcases against all the walls weaving in and out of the furniture, into the dining room, the kitchen, and the bedrooms. It's quite the mess but I love my books much more than my furniture (dad's tables excepted). But TV does play a part in our evenings, starting at about 8 PM. I'm a news junkie and even though my husband controls the remote (why have I let that happen??) I try to wheedle him into the cable news shows during the evening. He loves movies, and Pawn Stars, so when he clicks over to those I pick up the laptop and start roaming around. It's happening right now! He's watching the original John Carpenter Halloween and I'm trying to avoid listening to someone being stabbed repeatedly. Oh wait! He left the room! I'm flipping over to MSNBC to see how Herman Cain is spinning his sexual harassment charges. And during the commercials I'm getting back to "White Noise" by Don DeLillo, my first DeLillo novel.

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