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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Putting a bookmark in TV shows and movies: Why I’m tuning in to reading

Shavonne Chin

I have to get something off my chest.

It’s a confession I’ve been keeping a secret for months, worried about others’ reactions and the implications it could have on my work. But it’s been eating me alive and it finally feels time to come clean.

I’ve grown sick of TV shows and movies.

Over the past few months, I’ve been in a serious slump. I’ve started 25 different TV shows and have watched a grand total of five in their entirety. The only movies I’ve been able to watch from start to finish in one sitting have been in movie theaters, and even that number has dwindled drastically.

I also realized fairly recently that I’m truly just sick of looking at and scrolling on a screen. Most of my day is spent staring at some form of an electronic, whether it’s doing homework, looking at a PowerPoint during class or chipping away at my responsibilities for extracurriculars.

Not only am I tired of staring at blue light by the end of the day, but the added stressors of the looming future (hello, graduation) and recent medical developments that have left me dealing with migraines and auras has made my tolerance for devices next to zero.

And while there is certainly an abundance of excellent media available at our fingertips, most shows barely make it past the single eight-episode season mark, while films rotate on and off streaming platforms like a game of musical chairs.

To say I’ve been bored would be an understatement. The limited free time I have that was once devoted to frantically and excitedly consuming as much visual media as I could was eventually replaced by staring absently at my wall.

But a couple of months ago, that all changed. I found myself retreating to the safe space of my childhood, to the hobby that I once devoted myself to like no other: reading.

Once upon a time, I favored the joy of a good book over watching a screen. My backpacks used to grow frayed and ripped from the sheer amount of novels I carried around with me, while my occasional punishment as a child was often no reading for fun.

But I do have to admit, this obsession respawned itself thanks to television. Over the summer, I binge-watched AMC’s adaptation of “Interview with the Vampire” and I got totally hooked. And while the show is based on “The Vampire Chronicles” series by Anne Rice, the thought of reading the source material didn’t cross my mind for a while.

It wasn’t until a day of boredom sent me out to the Miller Memorial Library here in Hamden. I had visited the branch on and off since the summer, but hadn’t found myself making the dedicated effort to check out books and keep up with my reading. But as I found myself absently wandering the stacks, a familiar title caught my eye.

Next thing I knew, I had peeled through the gold hardcover in the mere span of days. While the revisitation of my favorite vampires certainly sparked some motivation to keep reading, I also felt a sense of peace I had been desperately missing in all my weeks of trying to force myself to watch media.

And the zen I felt wasn’t imagined either. Reading silently for a mere six minutes can reduce stress levels by a whopping 68%, according to a study by the University of Sussex.

In comparison to television and films, reading books is actually better for a brain that feels disordered or anxious. Because the only visual in front of your eyes is words, it forces the brain to be active in consuming media, which provides a more involved escape from stress, according to the BBC.

Reading is certainly not the be all, end all when it comes to stress. Even during the weeks I find myself able to read three to four books, I have times where I need to reach for my bottle of Ativan. And while I certainly do miss finding sparks of joy from movies and TV shows, the comfort of a good book has been a welcome rediscovery.

I’m sure one day I’ll find myself returning to my binge watching ways. But for now, I’m putting a bookmark in it. I have some reading to do.

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Zoe Leone
Zoe Leone, Arts & Life Editor

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