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Books vs TV. TV wins.

The overblown benefits of reading have long gone unchallenged as have the perils of TV viewing. The educational value of TV has been known even before the first lunar landing. TV has brought us up close to distant lands and cultures as well as important issues. We have listened to and watched political debates, interpreting gestures as well as content. Yes, even with fiction, TV leaves you to form conclusions based on tone, facial expressions, gestures, etc. Reading, on the other hand, “leaves little to the imagination”, he said confidently. Consider the format for a novel. You can get a character’s whole history delivered in writing before they even enter the room. 

Unfair comparisons between books an movies have long gone uncontested. Comparing a poorly produced movie to a well written novel does little to promote reading over TV. Try comparing a poorly written novel to a blockbuster movie classic and you will get the opposite results. TV is a superior medium for delivering educational content faster and more efficiently – a multimedia format that stimulates multiple senses. Other forms of content favor TV as well. Ever read a comedic monologue and find it as entertaining as watching it in real time on TV? How about reading the play by play of a sporting event vs watching it happen? TV wins every time.

All the Yes points:

  1. The demand for reading is about learning
  2. extra suds
  3. Convenience

All the No points:

  1. Much more detail in a book
  2. nothing left to the imagination?
  3. yes , reading books helps in sharpening the intellectuality and ultimately results in widening the mental spheres .
  4. Even the most educational shows are novice at best.
  5. Commercialization on tv is brain posion

The demand for reading is about learning

Yes because…

You are conflating reading and books – it is very important to be taught how to read because so many things rely on it – signs, creating and interpreting documents at work, all the various legal things you go through in life (like buying a house), filling in forms etc. It is therefore vitally that children be able to read. This has traditionally lead to a concentration on books because a student can have their own book and carry it around easily. However with increasing technology it is increasingly possible to teach people to read using other mediums – not so much TV which is not very well suited for people taking it at their own pace but through the internet, on smart phones etc.

No because…


The demand for reading might be many things including learning, relaxation, entertainment. TV is superior in all of these categories and more. It is a multimedia format that can easily be paused and replayed via DVR. The same multimedia presentation can be distributed on a smartphone, tablet or pc through a cd, DVD or jump drive, YouTube or Internet TV. I agree that reading is a vital skill that will most likely be needed throughout life. Teaching a child or adult to read can easily be done via this type of presentation as well as the information on buying a house and other legal matters.

extra suds

Yes because…

There is nothing about things “being left to the imagination” or “more detail” that directly pertain to any goodness about reading.

No because…


Yes because…

In todays society everyones fighting to have their jobs and more than one if they cn just to get by. Who has time to read for a couple hours just to get the same information they coud have received in a 30 minute tv program. Yes, the information myay be slightly different, but the idea, theme and message are the most important details which are almost always equally delivered, however, the TV delivers faster

No because…

Much more detail in a book

No because…

Strange to say a lot can be fitted into a book despite all the describing of characters, the setting etc actually converting books into TV or film tends to mean large amounts are cut out or they become extremely long programmes.

Yes because…

It’s true that books can contain lots of detail but they take a long time to read. A book converted to a 90 minute movie format will leave out detail causing you to fill in what is needed. But if you give a movie the same amount of time it takes to read a book, you could potentially convey much more information.

nothing left to the imagination?

No because…

Contrary to what the introduction says books leave much more to the imagination than TV – it is very rare for you to get a character’s history when they are introduced (and it would produce a very dull book). In a book you can equally be left to form conclusions ‘based on tone, facial expressions, gestures’ as they can be described but much more than this you need to imagine the whole world – what is the scene like, not everything will be described – for example trees might be mentioned but is it likely that you will be told what type of trees, how densely spaced they are, if they are on a slope, if they are the normal colour?

Yes because…


I did not say that reading leaves “nothing” but rather, “little” to the imagination. With reading, it is true that you are left to create a visual image of what is being depicted. You may choose to do this or not. How much you create is up to you. TV creates the visual stimuli but does not tell you what to think of the image as books often will. A town will be pictured on TV, leaving you to define what its characteristics are. This will be described in as much detail as the author wants in print. Saying in print, “It is a small town where the leaves are changing and people are friendly” tells you that the town is small, directs you to ‘look’ at the leaves and what to think of the people. With TV you are mostly left to conclude these things through images, sounds and actions. You may or may not notice the changing leaves. Books have words to describe each new character that is introduced. This will be in whatever level of detail the author chooses. TV has actors who must convey character traits and other information. Through visual and aural stimuli, your imagination will start to build a character causing you to conclude, for example, that “he might be the villain”. It is not only through ‘what’ is said but ‘how’ it is said, which you are left to interpret. You might be able to imagine that a character had a hard life or a lonely existence through the portrayal of the character. It is true that another character might verbally feed you this information, but you are still left to judge the feeder’s credentials, integrity, motives and perspective. When an author describes a character, there is not any cause to question it.

yes , reading books helps in sharpening the intellectuality and ultimately results in widening the mental spheres .

No because…

Reading books enhance the intellectuality it fills the hunger of striving mind ,it satisfy all the queries of mind .

Reading book enhance the imagination and hence open wider space of creativity . it helps in innovating different things which tv does not.contrary to that tv shortens the probability of innovation .when one reads a book he can learn how to imagine , he can learn how to express the views ,he can learn how to make a perception over a thing .watching tv would not help in learning all these minute things which are important for a person .because expression of views gives a person an identity it personify him .so for being a better learner one should need to be better scholar and for that he definitely need to read mind enriching books .

Yes because…


I agree that the computer is the superior medium for delivering information provided that is the goal. But this topic is about books vs TV. Just as you must be selective when finding good reading material, the selection process is used to find suitable programming. Once you do, I believe that a multimedia form of delivery has many advantage that outweigh those of the written form. A good point is made about being able to pace yourself with books. But, with Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) being commonplace, the same is true TV. Given the same amount of time one typically invests in reading a book, TV could produce greater results. While it’s true that reading might better prepare you to express your views, that would probably pertain mostly to the written form. TV can teach you verbal communication skills that can include tone, gestures, inflections, dynamics.

Even the most educational shows are novice at best.

No because…

Firstly, all education is not the same. I is an huge over generaliztion to simpy say all education good even within a context of university. For we may learn false or fallacious knowledge or simply bad knowledge.

For arguing through a Graduate level framework. I take pleasure every few day to watch something benificial before bed. What I recognize of even the most educational shows they are benificial only to a very general understanding of the topic.

Channels such as the history channel are hardly historical and even when they are they are careless to speak with enough accuracy to discriminate between very unliklyness and truth claims. There is often a motivation to make certain topics more exciting but often with the cost of oversimplification. Moreover in attempt to reach greater audiences shows are capped at a intellectual capacity of the casual person. But for a deep level of understanding books can be particularly selected to meet the optimal requirements for the learner. For there may be use in learning basic generals of a topic. But the computer really is the better source then both books or tv. especially with the increase of e-books and the ability to select for individual capacities. But books inable to reader to learn at thier own pace and process information at a pace best for them, while a tv show requires less effort. the learner loses information when attemping to contemplate over a concept of interest for they either miss the continuing the information or do not fully benifit at the from absorbtion of information caused by deeper processing. One of the intuitive motivation for tv vs books is the effort required vs pleasure recieved. For just like any new system of understanding such as learning a new language or learning to type.. once the skill is mastered the effort required for value drops thus increasing the motivation to take advantage of the new skill. thus mastery of reading increases the rate you of value you get out of reading vs the effort put in.. That is for the unpractised reader may be more motivated for tv then books. But as you become more skilled the more you reading becomes valuable. So we may understand that the novice reader cannot percieve the value of reading from a frame work of ignorance. this is not to be taken in an evaluative meaning but rather a descriptive explanation.

Yes because…

its hard to believe in your method of gaining education from reading “i is an huge” and “all education good”

Commercialization on tv is brain posion

No because…

One thing that has been left our of this debate is all the things envovled in tv that is unwanted. Commercials are constanty bombarded our mind and thougth with sophisms and non-sense motivation by association to product we don’t need. Secondly, There is alot of volence and fake sense of reality.. What does are the effects of constant imaginary dialogues that seem to resemble everyday living when they are not.. Is there a warping of understanding reality when being constantly bombared by fictional circumstance .. does false everyday entertaining coincedence on tv increase or standard of real life thus making reality and learning apealling to use as dull. Do constant shows and movies which verifiy our own values polars are fundementalist beliefs of society blind us.. particularly in the State fundementaism is on the rise.. such reaffirmation of democraxy and conception of rights leave reallity making us impervious to refutability of discomfirming information?

Yes because…

1) did you know more people record shows than watching them when they actually Air. I could only assume the commercials are fast-forwarded

2) did you know there are violent books and books with a fake sense of reality (or do you believe the Lrd of the Rings is real?).

3) Believing that a commercil is poison to our brains is like saying an advertisement in a newspaper is poison to our brains.

4) Are you saying entertainment makes us feel reality is boring? Where that may be the case with some things, i must say, a world without entertainment would be very dull and boring with no means to happiness. Why should we rely on history and factual things to be the only form of entertainment when “fake” stories are a mean to supplying happiness

5) Even with said “poisonous” commercials, we can still gain more knowledge in an hour of tv than an hour of reading

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5 years ago

you know how some people say that books are educational and that you read WELL,what about subtitles?????? what if it was in a different language and you had to read subtitles? sorry guys if I spelt anything wrong I had to rush to type this in my mum came in just then and I forgot to re-read.

4 years ago
Reply to  WEIRDO

I’m a lady ?!?!?!?!👩‍🦰👧👩‍🦳👩‍🦳👧👩‍🦳👧👩‍🦱

7 years ago

TV is far more better than movies because,we can get a vivid description,detail about a certain incident.Believing that a commercil is poison to our brains is like saying an advertisement in a newspaper is poison to our brains.

Are you saying entertainment makes us feel reality is boring? Where that may be the case with some things, i must say, a world without entertainment would be very dull and boring with no means to happiness. Why should we rely on history and factual things to be the only form of entertainment when “fake” stories are a mean to supplying happiness
Even with said “poisonous” commercials, we can still gain more knowledge in an hour of tv than an hour of reading.fucking is better than reading books.

9 years ago

I can not say that television or book can be compared . because every thing on its place correct as books helps us in being smater and improves many of English skills . and television helps us to easily understand or imagine things easily . but admit that the programes are not good . publishers have to work a lot on the educational programes . but otherwise a method of unlimited entertainment . I think these facilities are only eligible for higher and middle class people but what about lower and other backward classes ? do they don’t have any right to get educated I know you will say that there are programes working on it but are they really working on it ?if yes than why still india is conted as developing country ? why still people are not going to school ? thing and please reply on this site I will be active on this site .

The Guy In The Background
10 years ago

Whilst television may not be as stimulating as reading books, it :
-decreases stress
-promotes situational awareness
-informs and educates using various interactive media
-creates topics of social interaction
Don’t get me wrong. I’m neither for or against on this case. i was just feeling like defending televison since no one really stood up for it. However, I do believe that television viewing may not be as “brain stimulating” as reading books. That, of course, depends on how the person uses the information provided.

10 years ago

TV is more likely an illusion that you are entertained…compare it to the real educational games from which you don’t just have fun but also gain experience and you remember that for a longer time than watching a soap opera or a reality show. I agree with Brittany, TV might be good just for educational channels, news channels, sports. Books if red for pleasure, give a lot of possibilities which are developed while reading, such as imagination which is a precious tool for our minds.

Darhsil hindi rathod
4 years ago
Reply to  Livia


Brittany Wilburn
11 years ago

I am very disappointed for those on the yes side. I am a teen who happens to love reading and HATE TV, and I am what they call a talented and gifted student meaning that I am very advanced in my educational skills. Books work your imagination in ways some might not even know. Yes, I have watched TV; in fact, it was an educational program and I learned zip from it. I can learn 90% more in an hour of reading than an hour of TV. TV also drains the brain of what it needs the most, IMAGINATION!!!!!!! TV is also very unclean these days. Did you know that out of maybe 600 programs only 3 might be educational! Today’s world is sad, we as a nation should think more about our educations instead of technology.

Amir Ilyas
11 years ago

I have to agree with brittany here. I mean I do watch tv and some shows are enjoyable because of the humour but compared to the goddess of books, tv looks like a hairy, fat, ugly and poisonous caterpillar. But I have to admit sometimes tv is good for having fun.

Hans Georgie Wu
4 years ago
Reply to  Amir Ilyas

Sometimes I also watch it but mostly I am gifted

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