Why Are Books Better Than Tv Essay

14 reasons why a book is better than TV or film

May 17, 2015

|In Creativity

|By Adam Smith

I feel like I may incur the undue wrath of many based on the title of this article alone, so I’ll begin by pointing out that I bloody love films and TV. I just also really enjoy a good book, and am hurt somewhere deep inside by the apparent lack of real readers this generation seems to have grown. And I say ‘apparent’ because I know there are readers out there somewhere, but many seem ashamed to admit this fact for fear of social ridicule or peer-jeering.

I also believe there to be bookworms who are yet to realise their love for the written word, and thus I pebbledashed this delightful little list together of reasons why a book may just about be better than – or at least as good as – the telly-box and silver screen.

1. Books are actually portable

Bus and train journeys can last a long time, and mindlessly scrolling through your MyFace InstaTwit newsfeed is mind-meltingly mundane (on a good day…). And no matter how much we claim watching the latest blockbuster film on our mobile through tiny, tinny headphones is wonderful, it doesn’t have the same oomph as it does when it’s watched on a big screen. A book is the same quality no matter when or where you read it – be that during a commute, up a mountain, or queuing to get a ticket to see the newest blockbuster film…

2. Books don’t do batteries

Another thing…these newfangled portable devices we often watch things on don’t half drink a lot of juice! This is another knock on TV and film’s portability: there are rarely phone chargers in the forest, or in the middle of the park. Books don’t need charging, or recharging. They just are, like our desire for portable entertainment.

3. Books are flingable, should the moment require it

Though this article is promoting books and their unquestionable goodness, there are, of course, some stinkers amongst the perfumed pretty ones. And there’s nothing more satisfying than launching said stinker across the room in a fit of outrage. If a film’s terrible, you have to go through the hassle of ejecting the disk before you can Frisbee it frustratedly at the nearest wall. But disks can damage your painted walls, and shatter expensive porcelain vases. And if TV programmes are bad (which they often are), throwing the TV at the floor is hardly cost-effective anger management. Books are flimsy, dainty little delights (paperbacks, at least). Throwability, then, is in their very design.

4. Books don’t have adverts or trailers

When you decide “Hmm…I think I’d like to read now”, your eyes are not forced to endure the abysmal abominations that are modern television advertisements before, during, or after the session. In a similar vein, a book will not tell you to switch off your mobile phone, or try to sell you loyalty cards that you neither want or need. Books are all business, all of the time.

5. Reading nurtures your imagination. Always.

I won’t deny the occasional documentary or indie film will really work your noggin, but television in general turns your mind into marmalade, and the average Hollywood film requires as much thought as naming Girls Aloud did – less, even! A book, no matter its subject or content, requires you to engage your brain. It gently cajoles you into imagining worlds and picturing scenes, into empathising with characters and considering new ideas. This is good for you, kind of like how exercising is…just less exerting. Actually, they aren’t that similar… reading is wonderful. Exercise is hateful.

6. Reading embellishes one’s idiosyncratic lexicon…

…or. in humanspeak, improves your vocabulary! If you read a lot, there is simply no way the range and breadth of the words at your disposal won’t expand. Television rarely gives you time to pick up or understand any new words that may be introduced, and film rarely goes after the bigger, more meaningful terms. Books can help you better express your ideas and feelings, and even aid your understanding of the world around you. Meritorious!

7. It can help make ewe a better speller, two

So many people claim they can’t spell well (for the record, it’s: W-E-L-L), but reading creates a greater familiarity with even the toughest of spellings. TV and film only really engage your eyes with moving images (hence the name ‘movies’), so they’re unlikely to help you on the spelling front. Books – 1, TV and Film – 0.

8. Reading is pretty damn cheap

I love the cinema, sincerely I do! But I can almost buy a Ferrari for the same price as a ticket, medium popcorn, and a watered-down lemonade. New release DVDs and boxsets are pretty pricey too, and though a new hardback book can come with a painful pricetag, there is this thing called The Library where books are FREE! And yes, I do mean legally free, before you get all ‘pirated DVDs’ on me…

9. You also get a lot more for your money

Often people complain that books are too long, but they can also get pretty vocal when the new film they went to see was too short. Books give you hours of entertainment, and can also be re-read in many instances. If you’re into calculating ‘Money Spent : Length of Entertainment’ ratios (as we all most certainly are…), books win hands-, feet-, and ears-down!

10. Reading is highly thought-provoking

Television and film primarily dazzle the senses with stupendously stunning special effects, but this fails to engage your grey matter in any meaningful way. Books will leave you pondering and questioning, and may even encourage you to do some of your own further reading to augment your own knowledge and understanding. Books are pretty experimental at times, too, which can really roast your intellect. And that’s a good thing – promise!

11. Reading is more detailed than television or film

Due to the standard runtime of a television programme or film, the completion of the plot within those time constraints is the primary focus. As a result, expansion on character development or story arc is often omitted, which can be a real downfall. Books don’t have these same limitations, and novels are renowned for their rich and waffley nature. And I like waffles.

12. Books are fall-asleepable

My mum once fell asleep during a Lord of the Rings film…at the cinema…and snored. As a result, she annoyed many of the surrounding viewers, spent the price of admission to sleep in an uncomfortable chair, and demonstrated her ability to outdo the war-cries of the orcs (she can seriously snore!). Fall asleep when reading a book, and no-one really minds. Hell, even dropping the book on your face isn’t so bad…

13. Reading is peaceful

We’re not in the 60s any more, granted, but we all need some peace, maaaaaan! Films require volume, and television is boisterous and raucous at the best of times. Reading a book is genuinely soothing, and it’s not a bad thing to switch off every now and again. New books smell pretty sexy, too, and help encourage the state of calm. Far out, sister!

14. Book folk are more kind when it comes to **SPOILERS**

I don’t recall a time that a book’s plot twist or character death was ever ruined for me by somebody blurting it out in the canteen, or inconsiderately ranting about it online – no matter how late I was in reading the latest release. But if I were to miss a single episode of Breaking 24 Lost Vampire Thrones, I can actually guarantee I’ll find out **SPOILER ALERT**Sean Bean dies…again.

Have YOUR say.

Why do you prefer books to films and TV?

Maybe you disagree entirely?

Let us know in the comments below.


booksBooks Vs FilmBooks Vs TVfilmmoviereadingtv

Adam Smith

After too many years of reading substandard web journalism, Adam decided it was time to take action into his own pen-wielding hands. As Editor-in-Chief, he propels NUBI forward, offering his own views and thoughts on all things creative, artistic and downright unusual.

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1)      If you fall asleep while reading you don’t miss anything.


2)      It’s quiet.

3)      You can do it ANYWHERE including places with no cell service, electricity, wifi, or satellite transmission.


4)      It’s private, just you and the author linking minds and ideas.


5)      It’s free with a library card, and sometimes even without!


6)      There are no commercials.



7)      Your mother will not mind if you do.


8)      Books are easy to share.



9)      TV and movies have been around for less than 100 years. Books have been written for thousands and thousands of years.  Everything you need to know is in them.


10)  They are so much fun to pick out!

Happy reading, everybody!

Tags:advantages of reading, Books, books vs. tv, CLiF Spotlight, Community Literacy, Literacy, Little Free Libraries, Public Libraries, Reading, reasons reading is better than TV, stick figures reading, top ten lists

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