Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Could You Give Up Book Reading For A Year?

What would your life – and the world – look like if you or it gave up reading books for a year?

This question was born out of an article I just read in The Washington Post, written by a woman who followed through on a 2016 New Year’s resolution to abstain from television viewing for a year.

In the case of TV, the common belief is that the “idiot box” is a time suck and doesn’t offer enough quality fare to justify the investment of time and cable fees.  Watching hours of television give us couch potatoes who are less healthy due to the time spent sitting like slugs and likely snacking on junk.  Couldn’t those daily hours be put to better use, such as going out and living life rather than watching it unfold from a screen?

I suppose the same argument can be made about the Internet and social media.  Is the act of viewing virulent videos and surfing Ebay the greatest use of our time?

Of course, TV or the Internet are not all bad.  In fact, one can find useful things online or on television, and in moderation, either or both will help us to either be educated or entertained.  But what about book reading – could and should one swear off of it for an entire year?

Books, typically, are healthy for us.  There are so many benefits that come from the engagement of reading, from stimulating our minds, stirring our souls, and giving us interesting things to ponder, consume, or even laugh at.  Studies show reading books extends one’s life, and helps delay the onset of Alzheimer’s.

But could reading books have a negative impact on us?  It all depends, like anything else, on the quality of what we consume.  Are the books filled with negative images, distorted viewpoints, even errors and a misinterpretation of facts?  Are these books mainly fiction or non-fiction?  Are they well-written and properly edited?  Do they help to inspire, inform, enlighten, or entertain us – or do they mold us into hateful, depressed, and misguided individuals?

Time is a factor too.  Books supplement our lives, but how much time should they be allotted daily?  No matter how wonderful it is to read books – and it is glorious – there should be a reasonable limit set.  Why, you ask, would we limit ourselves from such pleasure?

We can’t let reading books – or watching TV or surfing the Internet – replace the social and productive activities that a healthy and balanced life may require.  Nothing should become an obsession or performed disproportionately – including work, sex, eating, drinking, exercising, and just about any activity.

I more easily understand someone who may give up TV for a year than I could someone who would even think of giving up books for 365 long days. I would hope the opposite would happen, that non-readers would make a resolution to commit to reading more books.

The world would be a much, much better place with more book readers, but too much of a good thing can be bad.  Even book readers needs to get reasonable limits for their passionate pastime.  But give up books for a year?  They should make a TV show about that.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby 

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