A bone of forever contention, but one however that yields still the same result, a resounding win in favour of it, the book reading discussion is one that ends up always gratifying all book lovers. A tradition as old as time, the time since when books have been gracing the greater view of the world that is, the charm of reading refuses to be lost on anyone who has ever experienced the ecstasy that curling up with a good book unfailingly leads one into. Confounding it is therefore that books have often been at the center of such debates that which have been pitting them against movies since long and with web series, of late. While it is not to undermine the many delights that the reaches of the digital have successfully imprinted on the world as a whole, but seeking to elevate them altogether in such proposition that finds them trying to outdo the magic of books is a bit too much for our bookish souls to handle. So on we embark, one time again to laud the many benefits and advantages of reading books to establish once and for all why they always emerge victorious in their ancientry over only the recent spate of watching, or rather binge watching television shows and web series.
For one, television or the visual medium is a rather evil way to drive us to idleness. Even when it is some educational content that you are viewing on screen, it does not quite exert your brain like a session of reading does. In relaying to us such information that while might be useful are fed to us and not acquired by the brain, viewing cannot simply catch up to the profound impact reading a book has on us. In being a medium of knowledge that has us actively involved in its pursuit, books help our cause all the more by being an activity in conscience. Whether that be turning the page of it or comprehending its contents, reading is more active an exercise than binge watching. Shows and series on the other hand tend only to be passive means to knowledge, if at all they are. They can be all gripping and stuff, even such edge of the seat thrillers that has you alert and more than just conscious enough. But in being stimulating to excessive extents, viewing all those fascinating display of visuals can leave you feeling more drained than ever, even when what you had been doing was rather an attempt at relaxation.
It’s easy also to drift away to your own wonderland with a book at hand, residing in a rather pleasurable state of conscious unconsciousness, that while might sound like a duel of the paradoxes, is a feeling that you need to experience to be in awe of the mystery of it. That dwelling in somewhere incomprehensible, that feels like living your reality in a dream, that has you feeling light and liberated, is one of the fondest, most precious cherishings of any book lover. You discover your soul in a book penned by some unknown, through manifesting of an imagination that is innate to all of us. Television or the visual medium takes much of that imagination away, leaving little scope for your subconscious to implore situations and eke out personal responses to them. In therefore being somewhat disengaging, binge watching does not help in developing your concentration unlike reading, which in all its beholding of a domain catering to the many arts of which it is a part essentially leads you to. It also is quite appalling that long hours of staring at the screen in fact reduces even your natural ability to concentrate as you would discover when you sit down to read a book after a prolonged gap induced by more and extended binge watching sessions. From wearing off not just your concentration levels but also lowering your mental functioning, binge watching does indeed tend to transform one into idiots which is perhaps why the television has so often been lookd down in history as the idiot box.
Mental faculties aside, binge watching telly shows or web series does not do much in expanding your linguistic skills either. Reading on the other hand, whether it be books or newspapers or journals or even articles on the internet, bring along with it also an array of vocabulary into play. In allowing you also to retain new words that you fancy, because seeing the word in print conjures up image of it at a later time when you are recollecting stuff, the exposure to an expanded vocabulary also does well in improving your own flair with the verbose for better articulation. And as they say, to be a good writer, you need to be a good reader first. No wonder, reading books opens up a world of immense possibilities for you through its many benefits and advantages, something that binge watching never would be capable enough of.
Another of the advantages of reading books persists through such benefits that are wholly emotional in nature. Particularly in reading such pieces that dwell on characters to drive the course of narration, books allow you to be one with the character, getting even into their heads and identifying with it to the extent that you begin to feel the way it is made to. Of course, shows and series also often come up with such characters that endear themselves to you but still does not let you build up a kind of identity manifested in them. But because the characters of books do not have a definite physical form and are merely an idea, it becomes easier to view oneself in that place, something that the visual medium leaves no scope for in already designating a particular face to a certain character. To that extent, in helping you be one with the character, reading also ends up making you more empathetic, that which is one of the most essential qualities that make you humane. In allowing you inroads into a mind that lets you delve deep into the character, reading widens your perspective and leaves you better perceptive of the extensive range of human emotions.
It isn’t however just the sphere of your mental faculties and emotional perceptions that reading and binge watching touches upon. A very significant aspect of binge watching web shows translates directly as impacting your health. That however has a lot to do with how binge watching has developed as a ‘culture’ rather than being something essential to it. In the era of Netflix and chill where the infiltration of the online into every aspect of life means that streaming platforms ties up with food ordering ones to cater to your mood and need with seemingly lucrative discounts and offers, binge watching sans binge snacking isn’t half the fun of it. Which means you end up bingeing not just on shows but also on snacks, mostly addictive that which make for an even more compulsive round of more addiction. That speaks danger for your health indeed, with all those snacks disrupting the normal functioning of your body much like what too much of the visuals do to your mind. Even when it sounds too derivant a proposition to be universal, this stands more than true for majority of those owing a guilty allegiance to binge watching. Reading books also has traditionally been enjoyed with a warm cuppa by the side accompanied by snacking or munching. But the ‘requirements’ of reading that which needs you to be hands free to turn pages or are more demanding of your attention significantly lowers the scope of readers falling easy victims to lures of the unhealthy doses. Whimsical as it might sound to draw the benefits of reading books from the advantages that it seeks to perpetuate courtesy habits and culture, this remains a fact that has been proved and established as true over the years.
Another positive way in which reading impacts your health vis a vis binge watching is that building up a dedicated habit of reading exercises the muscles in your brain, thereby keeping it more active and healthy. This thereby improves your immediate memory and also has you in better stead for the old age through reduction of risks that might lead to Alzheimer’s and dementia or forgetfulness owing to senility. In almost being a form of meditative relaxation, reading also reduces stress and anxiety, contributing therefore to an overall healthier and happier you. Binge watching shows or even watching television considerably enhances levels of aggression and arousal in folks, which leads to quite a hyper reaction to life situations, thereby draining out the self more through unnecessary employing energy levels to extremes. And with numerous researches conducted over time affirming such advantages and benefits accruing to reading books, the verdict is right and clear on the wall.
But despite all the obvious positives that reading has on overall health, it is more the experience of reading that renders it a far better activity than anything else, not just binge watching. While prolonged addiction to binge watching shows and series might not be very beneficial, it does not mean that we harbour absolute scorn for it. It however is only the way die hard binge watchers seek to brush off the magic flourishing through the pages of a read that make us so defiantly stand up for that one love we have known all through our lives. The love of reading is one that is wholesome and rewarding and that is exactly what makes it win every single time in every versus debate ever.