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  1. #1
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    Is TV better than books?

    Do you think TV is better than books. For both arguments, state why you think one is better than the other.

    My argument is that books are better because
    1. There are no advertisements in books. Even if there are (e.g. magazines) you can simply flick through the ads.
    2. TV's require electricity and power. They also need to be set up and they can break down too. There is no need for electricity or power for books. Save energy.
    3. Books are portable and can be carried around. TV's are less portable.
    4. On TV, you are given are limited number of programs to choose from at any one time. There is a huge selection of books in the library.
    5. Watching TV only involves passively watching and listening, whilst reading involves actively engaging in the text (i.e. reading). Actively engaging in a task is better way to learn than through passively observing. Also, when reading, you improve your literacy.
    6. In society, it is reading and more generally literacy that is valued. We are provided with stacks of paperwork, catalogues, handouts, academic readings (for university students), newspapers etc.

  2. #2
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    Re: Is TV better than books?

    I guess you'd have to define "better". Books are not good for everything. For instance I would rather watch a football game on TV than read about it. But on the other hand, books are usually far more satisfying than their TV/Film counterparts, mainly because one can be more descriptive in books than on film. All in all, however, I do read more books than watch TV shows. But I watch more films than read books. Growing up, I watched a lot of TV and read very little. Oddly enough, I was reading at a first grade level before kindergarten and it was never a struggle. I simply found reading very boring, while the images on TV were far more satisfying. I read books now more than ever, but I still watch the occasional PBS or Simpsons, but not many sitcoms. So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that books are good for some pleasures, while TV is good for other pleasures. Pound for pound, though books beat out TV.

  3. #3
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    Re: Is TV better than books?

    Books are better in my opinion becuase there is far more desciption. i have only read about 1 book that had the movie better than it. I still watch the simpson's and other stuff (mostly becuase that my local library is TINY) but overall books are better.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Is TV better than books?

    They're different media; you're comparing apples to oranges.

    Television is better in some ways--it has visual and aural components that books lack--where books are better in others--they're much more accessible (you don't need a television), they tend to involve more description, and television is very clumsy at applying a narrative element (voiceovers and such).

    I generally prefer books, mostly because they're generally better-written and more focused than television shows or movies.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Is TV better than books?

    Quote Originally Posted by Defensor
    My argument is that books are better because
    1. There are no advertisements in books. Even if there are (e.g. magazines) you can simply flick through the ads.
    All books are advertisements. Perhaps not in the "buy this crap" sense, but certainly in the sense of making certain ideas seem "good" and other ideas seem "bad." Fictional genres have heroes versus villains, and the author consistently attributes "good" and "desirable" traits to the hero while attributing "bad" and "undesirable" traits to the villain. Non-fiction writings have the author's perspective and beliefs ingrained in how they deal with the topic.

    Thus, I can't accept that books are better than television due to the advertisement argument. Sometimes I'd rather see a Pepsi commercial telling me that 70 year old women are feeling friskier and younger due to Pepsi's rejuvenating powers than read a book where "true love" is defined solely as a monogamous relationship and that sexy men have male parts as thick as the lady's wrist (actual description for romance novel I promised wife I'd try).

    2. TV's require electricity and power. They also need to be set up and they can break down too. There is no need for electricity or power for books. Save energy.
    There is a lot of need for electricity and power to produce books, and unless you're only reading during daylight hours, using only natural sunlight, it does take electricity to operate the lights that allow you to read. Paper is made from trees, there's an environmental impact from books - especially with ever expanding human habitats encroaching on former forest land.

    But, common sense would seem to say that televisions cost more energy to produce and operate. It would be interesting to see if the gap is actually as large as many people believe. But I'll give you this point. So far: Books 1 T.V. 0

    3. Books are portable and can be carried around. TV's are less portable.
    Wrong. Technology has produced small, pocket sized televisions. Televisions can be installed in cars. And if you count DVD players with screens as a "television option," you can pretty much take visual entertainment anywhere you can take a book now. So neither is "better" than the other. Sure, your portable television could run out of power... just like you could finish reading the book before coming home. Still: Books 1 T.V. 0

    4. On TV, you are given are limited number of programs to choose from at any one time. There is a huge selection of books in the library.
    OnDemand cable access provides a large library of programs, movies, etc. for free or a small fee. A library only holds a certain number of books as well. And while you may be able to "order" a book through the library, it will take time to arrive. My television cable can also listen to radio programs in the area, expanding the library of entertainment even further. Sorry, I'm giving this one to television considering the ease of instantly finding something entertaining (and I'm not required to drive or bike to a library, using energy). Now tied: Books 1 T.V. 1

    5. Watching TV only involves passively watching and listening, whilst reading involves actively engaging in the text (i.e. reading). Actively engaging in a task is better way to learn than through passively observing. Also, when reading, you improve your literacy.
    As an educator, I disagree. Neither way is better. Some people learn better through observation. The best general education is a 50/50 mix of both styles. You certainly have proved the "advertisement" point I was making earlier though, as I was reading your post and BAM! A clear message of one attribute being better than another.

    Oh, and by the way, it is possible to actively watch television as actively as one reads, and it's possible to read as passively as one watches television. Skimming text would be the same as just watching the middle of the screen of the T.V., and taking note of all the visual elements of a screen (what's in the background as much as in the foreground) uses as much eye movement and brain power as reading a book. Still keeping them tied 1-1.

    6. In society, it is reading and more generally literacy that is valued. We are provided with stacks of paperwork, catalogues, handouts, academic readings (for university students), newspapers etc.
    Another advertisement brought to you by society. I don't care if the majority of people think literacy is more highly valued than the skills watching television. I can find pointless, brain-numbing books as much as anyone else can find pointless, brain-numbing television. Do you really believe that reading a sappy romance novel called, "My Scottish Prince," is more valuable than watching a historical documentary called, "Fight for the Pacific - America's clash with Japan in WWII?"


    Final score: Books 1 Television 1. It's a tie. Neither is better intrinsically.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Is TV better than books?

    Social Gremlin is correct - neither is "better". Clive is right too - it's like comparing apples and oranges.

    Personally I like to read books in the bathroom - I NEVER watch TV when I'm in the bathroom. I wonder why? I could position the TV to be visible from the bathroom - but I don't.

    Books are also better at the beach. Who want's to get sand on a TV set?

    TV is better for porn, sports and music video's - also the news. Also - if you have bad eyesight, TV is definately better.
    Last edited by Snoop; June 30th, 2008 at 03:59 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Is TV better than books?

    Apples and oranges? No. They are both forms of entertainment, and thus comparable.

    I hate almost all television shows except comedies. Other TV genres feel fake to me.

    Films, though, might eventually catch up to books. I watched Wanted a few days ago and that movie is in many ways more enjoyable than some of my favorite books.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Is TV better than books?

    Well, Whistlepig, if you are comparing them solely as forms of entertainment (rather than any sort of "value" as art, learning, etc.) then one could make the counter-argument that the only value in pure entertainment is in the eyes of the beholder. One person may enjoy one media more than the other.

    I think this thread needs to define "better" for the discussion to really move.
    So...

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  9. #9
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    Re: Is TV better than books?

    I like reading and watching TV. You can't really compare them, as they are both completely different.
    I prefer to read books, rather than watch a movie when, say, a book has been turned into a film, for example - as it's almost certain that the book will be much, much better than the film.

    There's nothing like curling up with a good book at night, but then, there's nothing like watching your favourite TV show on telly, eithor.

    I like both, but for different reasons, and it's these reasons that don't allow me to compare the two.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Is TV better than books?

    I may rate 7/10 for TV while 10/10 for books. TVs are essential and so are the books.
    While news, National geographic, Discovery help you in increasing your knowledge, there are other distracting and filthy channels that potentially disturb young minds. Obscenity is also present in some books but to a far lesser extent than in TVs. Unlike TVs books are easily accessible. They are portable and serve as a better companion at times. TVs increase your appetite for pleasure and fun. If a person watches television for 1 hr he would not have gained as much as knowledge as he would have had he read a book. Books have direct impact whereas TVs make an indirect impact if at all they make an impact. Further, with a choice of over hundred music video channels one is bound to get distracted and digressed from his goals. Therefore, books are better than TVs.

  11. #11
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    Re: Is TV better than books?

    I like books BUT at the end of a day when I'm kinda burned out, TV takes less mental energy to be entertained. So TV is good when you're too tired to read, otherwise books are excellent.

  12. #12
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    Re: Is TV better than books?

    Is a kazoo better than a tuba? A kazoo is more portable, easier to learn and costs very little. Tubas are heavy, clunky, difficult to learn, expensive and have awful sound.

    Is a tuba better than a kazoo? A tuba is more well-respected, provides an excellent opportunity for bettering yourself through learning and keeps people employed. Kazoos, however, are never taken seriously, require no thought to play and encourage outsourcing of labor to china.

    The point of this is that we are comparing two very different things. Each is better suited for certain tasks. Books provide more depth of information, but take longer. TVs provide less depth but are more visual and present information much more quickly. Books have freedom of thought(Anyone can write a book, not everyone can go on TV), but TVs provide for more quickly updated information. Saying that one is better than the other is rather silly, really. Yes, they are both forms of entertainment, but they are suited to different purposes.

 

 

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