Down with Television

You'll never see comments here about Desperate Housewives, The OC, Lost, ER or any other regular television show, simply because I've never watched any of them. The only shows worth the time are The Daily Show and Colbert Report. Since I don't stay up late enough to see them, I mostly watch them in a long catch-up session on ComedyCentral.com. Once or twice a week I see the local news when Brad turns it on. I like to say that Brad only watches shows with gunfire, explosions, or screaming. That covers sports and movies. It's not totally true because he spends a lot of time watching nature and history shows too.

People often ask me how I get to read so much. I never read during the day, unless I take a short break and read a magazine article with a snack. It's a real luxury for me to climb in the hammock or snuggle up on a rainy day and read, because it's such a rare treat.

When I was insane crazy with teaching, and raising kids, and doing all the office work, I took a long hard look at my life and made a list of the things I wanted more of and what was taking up my time. Most things were mandatory, but I realized that I could eliminate tv and add other good things like walking, reading, sleeping! It had been years since I read a whole book just because I wanted to. So my rule became that no matter what I would go to bed and read for as long as I could stay awake. Often that was less than ten minutes, but at least I was reading something.

So now I read almost every night. These are my favorite fiction books that I read in the past few years:

Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides
Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
Lolita by Vadimir Nabokov
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Miss Garnet's Angel by Salley Vickers
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I will spare you anymore, 'cause I could go on and on. What are your best books? How do you find time to read? What else would you do if you had more time?


Ambrose said...

Dear Cathy

We do have some very good T.V. programmes in the U.K. but sad to relate many which are sheer dross,fortunately the programme makers have made these programmes easy to recognised by their common features, for example.

"Talking Head " shows where the participants have no manners, and talk incessantly across each other, but nobody listens

Programmes which have canned laughter, or intrusive music.

Shows where the audience scream like banshees, and clap like seals in the zoo begging for fish.

"Reality Shows" which bare no relationship to any reality which
I have ever witnessed.

The reduction of my daily intake of T.V. now means that I have more time on the internet, discussing more interesting matters with my group of "Old Salts"(ex Seafarers)

However it is good to know from your blog that we are not alone.

Ambrose Felixstowe, England

rkcmckenna said...

I have written down your favorite books of the last few years and am going to the library to get one. Hopefully I'll make my way through your list!