Books vs. TV: Retiring Old Rules

By Amy Dickinson | April 21st, 2023

When to read vs. when to watch the boob tube

older woman watching TV and smiling, by Syda Productions. A retired woman is rethinking a self-imposed rule about when to read books and when to watch TV. See what “Ask Amy” says about books vs. TV.

A retired woman is rethinking her long-held, self-imposed rule about when to read books and when to watch TV. See what advice columnist Amy Dickinson has to say about “books vs. TV” in this edition of “Ask Amy.”

Dear Amy:

I am a retired woman in my late 60s who is an avid reader.

For some reason I created a rule that reading during the day is acceptable, whereas watching even a very good show or series on a streaming service is somehow the behavior of someone who has “given up” and is wasting time during the day.

I think this is because my elderly aunt would sit in her Barcalounger and watch soap operas during the day. I don’t want to turn into someone like that.

There are so many great shows now, however, and only so many hours in the evening.

I’d appreciate your thoughts.

– Betwixt

Dear Betwixt:

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to dredge up my own childhood memory. When I arrived home on the school bus, my mother would set up the ironing board (she was a homemaker at the time), and she would iron while we watched “The Edge of Night” together.

This is a practice I’ve continued. And while I do NOT iron the bedsheets (as my mother used to) I turn on streaming services while I’m doing chores.

In fact, knowing that I’m going to dive into a juicy documentary or favorite sitcom can make me actually look forward to doing the chores I used to dread.

Want to get even more life tips from Amy? Read more of her advice columns here!

In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart – ranging from a “books vs. TV” quandary to relationships to DNA surprises. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068

©2023 by Amy Dickinson

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