Seriously. The list of media I want to check out seems endless and because I have to strike a balance between working, writing, and working out (yeah, bottom of the priority list) I usually have to choose between reading or watching TV. I'm getting better at making room for both. Even though many would write off television as brainless and would recommend reading above it every time, I think both mediums can tell good stories and are worthy of my time.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” - George R. R. Martin
I've been transported by books. I've escaped into them and spent entire nights in my bed or on the couch with only a book, a blanket, and a cozy beverage. And sometimes a cat. Okay, usually a cat. I've whiled away weekends burning through a series I couldn't bear to put down. When I was younger, I used to be able to read in the car (it makes me ill now) and I would take advantage of every minute. I was the little girl with her nose continually in a book.
Television series and movies have the same effect. Star Wars, Firefly, Deadwood, and Battlestar Galactica. All have swept me up in their complex worlds and relationships. If I like a show, I binge-watch it. I hand over hours to on-screen media just like I do with books and though it's not quite the same level of immersion, it's close.
Watching TV can be mindless. So can reading. It's all about your attitude and the material.
As an aspiring writer, you can learn from both too. Books, comics, and television all have fantastic, wonderfully written stories and they also have horribly woven tales that are painful to read or watch. I might absorb new vocabulary and styles through the written word more than hearing it, but television writers can be damn good. Reference the above list and add about a million more to it.
My point being, reading isn't automatically superior to watching television. I have a hard time deciding how to split my time between them and how to even give any time to either of them, It's easy to be lazy in my free time and catch up on sleep. But I know my unwatched DVDs and Blu-rays and unread books and comics will always be waiting for me and not knowing what happens in them is enough to keep me curious and plugging forward.
Do you read more or watch TV more? Which do you prefer?