Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Chapter A Day

One of my professors used to tell our class that he does not like to watch TV; explaining that the more a person watches TV, the more his satiety for the written word or his habit of reading goes downhill.  Personally, I must say that this is true.  Before I had my own apartment, I was living in a university dormitory (Motto: "You touch, you die!") where there was only one TV for all the residents.  We were not allowed to have our own personal TV sets so all us had to learn how to share and compromise when it came to selecting what TV programs to watch.  Usually, those "negotiations" turned to petty, often hilarious, verbal squabbles because some residents liked to watch comedy shows and cartoons, several students preferred watching romantic dramas, the nerdy-serious types insisted on watching documentaries and news; and some, like me; just wanted to get out of our rooms, leave our integration problems behind, and savor the temporary diversion and hypnotic radiance provided by the world's greatest invention.  
Nonetheless, we had to adhere to the dormitory's strict eight-hour per day TV policy and the subtle rule of "first-come, first-serve-basis" for the remote control -- the dormitory wanted to ensure that its' residents were spending more time with their books rather than with Spongebob (believe me, college students would watch anything just to escape from the pressures of academics).  Thus, my TV viewing time while living in the dorm usually averaged around two hours per day.  I had more time with my books and during "slow days" (i.e. the week after midterms), I would usually hang out in the library and devour and digest entire novels.   

"Television: Maestra, madre, secreta amante."
All that changed of course when I moved into an apartment which had cable.  Now, my bookshelf has been gathering dust, my bedside book backlog has been piling up, while my electric bill has been skyrocketing.  Hey, it's not my fault there are so many channels and besides, I need to learn another language anyway, so it's totally okay to watch foreign channels which I could not understand until 3 in the morning.  Right?  Right?  :-)  Okay, that wasn't right.  Hence, as of today, I promise myself to read at least a few chapters of a good book before I go to sleep.  I've just started reading Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, figuring that if I need to revive my love for reading, I should probably start with fast-paced, exciting stories .  

Wired Magazine recently published that the reason why Americans are getting stooopid is because people don't want to read anymore.  The article further states that if only young people would read a page off a good book every time they tweet, then the country would be saved from a generation of brain-dead, easily-distracted, twits.
So yeah, here's to books and to the revival of reading.  Cheers!     

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