Are books better than TV shows?

Mariia Nazarenko, Staff Writer

I love reading books. I am going, to be honest, at first, I hated books. They were too boring for me and I preferred watching movies rather than reading. When I got to High School, during my sophomore year I started to read books just because I wanted to give them a chance. The first book I began to read was not quite what I expected it to be and I abandoned it. Back then I watched a lot of YouTube videos and began to watch people reading books like for example 24 hours reading challenge. It was quite interesting to watch and I gave books a second chance which was very successful. Now I am obsessed with books. They brought my vocabulary to another level. Actually, I like books more than movies now. I would never think that books might be that much interesting. The recent books that I enjoyed reading were A Deal with the Elf King, A Dance with the Fae Prince, and A Duek with the Vampire Lord.  My personal record of reading books was that I read 3 books in 3 days. I am a slow reader though but when the book is interesting I can’t put it down. Each book had 300-plus pages in total of 1097 pages. The first book was 317 pages, the second 352, and the third 428. Books are very interesting to read if you find your favorite genre and going to read what is interesting to you. My favorite genre is fantasy, romance, and murder mysteries. Books are not only interesting but also have a lot of benefits. Books now also have audio versions to them if you prefer listening rather than reading. The benefits of reading a book include things like improved brain connectivity, increases vocabulary and comprehension, empowers you to empathize with other people, aids in sleep readiness, reduces stress, etc. It is up to you if you want to begin reading books or not but give it a chance, maybe you’ll love it. 

Our school has a big library with tons of books. I was surprised to see books that are brand new. I thought that libraries were boring and had only books that are ancient. Santiago’s High School library is very impressive with its variety of books. It is very easy to go and check out a book that you want to read. They even have a website now and you can check out an ebook or an audiobook. You do not need to spend money now to read a book. Use the opportunity as a student to enjoy reading. I decided to interview our video production teacher Mr. Gauss and see if he likes reading books. 

Do you like reading books? If so, why?

  • Yes, I love reading books. It serves two functions. It can open up this window into cultures that you’ve never been to. It can also like expand your mind into these worlds. And then it also serves as this function of the collective memory of the human race. You know, it’s like you can write something that will last far longer than your lifespan. For example, the Bible. Written thousands of years ago. And then it still has this influence today and relevance. So yeah, I think the written word it’s pretty remarkable.

What is your favorite genre? What is your favorite book of all time and why?

  • I have a very specific genre that I like. It’s called The Hard Boiled School of American Writing. And it’s American writing around the turn of the 20th century. It has to do with a kind of depression era. It also deals with railroads. Probably my favorite book of all time it’s a book by this author Jack Black, and it’s called You Can’t Win. I also like noir or Raymond Chandler. Any book that is about a place that I’ve been. I love reading books about Los Angeles or San Francisco, places I’ve lived and I’m familiar with. I like reading, even if it’s crime or, you know, there’s just something that  I’m fond of about that. Like, oh, I’ve been there before. Raymond Chandler did a lot of that kind of crime, like early dark kind of crime, the twenties, and thirties and stuff like that.

Do you prefer audiobooks or paper versions? Why?

  • Yeah, audiobooks are great. There was, a book that a friend of mine recommended and I read it and it was so useful that I ended up, downloading the audiobook so that I could go back through it and it was really helpful. I actually prefer the physical version of the book. Audiobooks, I think they can be helpful, but there’s something from my mind that’s a little different and requires more attention to detail. Listening to it, you can face out for a little bit, maybe miss a part, but if you’re actually reading it, it requires you really focus.

Do you prefer reading books or watching movies?

  • I think that they access different modalities. Nothing to me can replace a good book. And I would say that in every book, every movie that’s been made about a book, the book has been better or there’s been something left out. And the only movie I’ve ever seen that is exactly to the book is the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. And that movie is exactly like the book. Everything that’s in that book is in the movie. I think that generally, my imagination is grander than how it’s interpreted in the movies.

What do you think are the benefits of reading a book?

  • The benefit of reading a book is using your imagination. It’s even like writing. It’s really good to take notes and not that you maybe take notes really well and that you’re going to come back to them, but there’s something about the action of it that it activates a region of your brain that just movies don’t. When you’re passively watching something, it’s different than actively interpreting words and constructing meaning. The movie’s already constructed the world for you, so you’re just kind of absorbing what they’re revealing to you. I think it’s so important to become more literate, to be more understanding. When you open yourself up to literature, it forces me to be empathetic to real, and realize the solidarity of, humankind because it’s like when you read about different cultures, the film can conserve that function a little bit as well where you see a culture that maybe is demonized. We have this mythology of our country that we won World War II when we defeated the fascists, and it’s not actually, that was largely done by Russians. It was done by the 25 million Russian people that died in that war. So when you see their cinema, directors like Tarkovsky make you realize that they’re just human just like us and that they all have there might be elements of it, Vladimir Putin may be a total sociopath, but that doesn’t mean that all Russians are like that. There’s a lot in that culture. Same with Iranians. There’s such richness within the culture and we’re more similar than we are different. And I think that that’s what a good book does. And a good film does it really makes you realize that we all share in our humanity on this planet. 

What books you would recommend students read?

  • I would recommend just following what you enjoy. I don’t think that you should be forced to read the classics. Like seriously, even if you’re into comic books or graphic novels, whatever it is to that you’re attracted to that we’ll get you reading what you’re interested in. I think that’s what you should read. And I think that they should do that more in high school as opposed to like you need to read the canon of great English, like Chowk Canterbury tales. I think if you could light that fire of interest in reading. That stuff lasts your entire life, so you can always get to the classics later on, you know? I would just say to pursue your interests and read about them. 


I also asked some students about their favorite books, and genre, and why they like to read. It was a pleasant surprise when I discovered that a lot of students loved reading. It is very impressive. We even have a book club on our campus where you can join and finds friends who also love reading books as much as you are. 

  • My favorite book series is Harry Potter. My favorite genre is Fantasy. I enjoy reading because it allows me to escape reality and go into a different world. 

Roxana Kordbacheh

  • My favorite book genre is horror or crime because I like the action that goes on during the book. I like the book Falling by T.J. Newman. I like this book because of its fast plot so that way I don’t get bored when reading. 

Joshua Lane,

In conclusion, I want to highlight that reading is not bad. It is the opposite of boring and it has much more charm to it. Like Mr. Gauss said, “I would just say to pursue your interests and read about them”. Read what you like and what you enjoy. Reading can be very helpful to expand your vocabulary, grow your imagination, and much more. I hope that this article will inspire you to read more books.