Why is reading a book better than watching television?


Quick Answer

Reading a book is better than watching television as it gives the reader a chance to imagine the text themselves and develop their theory of mind. For children, this means there is a greater chance of developing a sense of empathy with the character.

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Full Answer

Some of the benefits of reading a book over watching television include:

  • Unlike watching the television, reading allows people to develop their theory of mind. Theory of mind is the ability to attribute mental states to a character or situation. When reading, the reader has to do this, whereas television does the work for them. Improving theory of mind can enhance a person's sense of empathy.
  • Reading encourages greater brain connectivity. As the reader learns about the character, they place themselves in their shoes, which encourages brain activity.
  • Several readers who read the same book develop their own unique version. For example, one person may see the sea as dark, whereas someone else sees it as green. When watching television, there is only one way to interpret it.
  • Unlike television, there is no danger of the reader losing their place with a book. They do not have to stay up late to finish an episode or pause the TV, they just need to put the book down.
  • It is possible to take a book anywhere and read it without disturbing other people. While portable TVs are available, they are not as socially acceptable as books.
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