Lately I’ve had too much time on my hands and have become somewhat addicted to Netflix. My husband has been working out of town and I’ve been in a weird limbo professionally. I think I have a new job, but I haven’t actually started yet. So, on these chilly, gloomy days I binge-watch and justify it to myself in various ways:
- Well, at least I’m knitting while I do it.
- Well, I’m watching quality, well-written dramas.
- Well, it’s really not all that different from reading a novel.
But that’s the thing–it is different. This morning I got up and said to myself, “Morning news with your coffee. That’s it. And if you’re still not ready to move your butt out of John’s recliner, you can read.”
So I started Ann Packer’s The Children’s Crusade, which I had pre-ordered and was magically delivered to my Kindle overnight. After I was about 10 pages in, I was reminded of just how different reading is from watching. My brain was taking words and actively creating a world, the “world” of the novel as I uniquely imagine it. If you stop to think about it, it’s pretty amazing. With TV, even with something as highbrow as Masterpiece on PBS, that has been done for us and all we have to do is passively sponge it up. That passivity is self-perpetuating: the more we watch, the less motivated we feel. Case in point: after reading less than a chapter, a switch was turned on and I was compelled to write. So no more boob-tube for this girl until the end of the day when’s it’s time to wind down and not amp up!