Book vs Television

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Date Submitted: 09/30/2012 08:08 PM

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The influence of books verses The influence of T.V What seems like a straightforward comparison – books versus TV, culture versus the boob tube – is more complex than it seems at first, because we have to ask questions – not just about what we are reading or watching, but how we are doing it. Reading books aloud with your child help stimulate their imagination and expand their understanding of the world around them. Reading helps them develop language and listening skills. Throughout time children’s television shows have progressed to stimulate your child in many developmental areas such as cognitive and language skills. Some critics argue that due to this progression some argue that reading and watching T.V can both be equally beneficial to your child.

Both reading and watching television are leisure occupations. However, the level of mental activity is considerably different. All else being equal, reading is considerably more active than watching television, because reading is a cognitively active task. When you are watching TV, you are passively receiving images, in an order controlled by another person. What you see is what you get. In contrast, reading requires you to imaginatively bring to life what you are reading. Even the most basic, undemanding form of reading requires decoding, the transformation of printed letters into meaningful words, and as such is more active than viewing a TV program. Furthermore, readers are in more control of their activity, able to slow down, speed up, skip, and re-read as desired, something that they are unlikely to do while watching TV.

Reading seems like an essentially solitary endeavor: just you and the book. However, it’s not as simple as that. First of all, reading doesn’t have to be solitary and silent. Through most of history, written texts have been primarily used to read aloud to a listening audience, an activity that is preserved today mainly in parents reading to children, and people listening to audio books. The...