Whenever someone has a chance to read my writing, they usually notice the strong dialogue, good pacing, but relatively sparse setting descriptions. Then they ask about what authors I'm reading, trying to discover the source of my inspiration. "I don't read all that much," I reply. "I just watch a lot of television." This, as you can imagine, goes over like a lead balloon.
I guess I'm supposed to be ashamed by this. Reading is clearly the morally superior leisure activity. The written word forces you to think and imagine, while moving images do just the opposite. Admitting that I prefer the Boob Tube to books is tantamount to saying I like Comic Sans better than Helvetica.
Seriously, some people hate that font.
Here's the thing ... that's all bullshit.
I once picked up The Devil Wears Prada in an airport gift shop, figuring you can't go wrong with a bestseller. How innocent I was then, how naive. Calling that book drivel would be an insult to drivel everywhere, and I would give anything to get back the hours I wasted reading it. The movie was better - I say this without ever seeing the movie, but secure in the knowledge that there was absolutely no way to make that book worse.
It's not the media that makes a story worthwhile, but the skill of the story teller. As demonstrated by one of Maggie's previous posts, good television can be just as moving as good literature. Besides, for every God-awful reality television show on the air there are a dozen equally terrible romance/self-help/sci-fi novels on the shelves. Not to say that's a bad thing. Sometimes, you may feel the need to curl up with some low-quality chick lit. Just don't turn your nose up at someone who curls up with Most Extreme Elimination Challenge, instead.
Give me Japanese game shows over pink paperbacks any day.
In unrelated news... 100th post! Woot.