Television, books and reading   Leave a comment

We live in a world of gadgets, many of which we take for granted, but which one is the best invention, the one you couldn’t do without now?

I would hazard a guess that many will say their cell/mobile.  Security wise it is invaluable – if you breakdown or get lost you can call or text.  It can though make you constantly available and lead to many arguments – “I was trying to call you, you never answer your phone!”

I talk to Tom Cruise’s daughter on my phone and she tells me if I need to wear a coat or who I have to meet; she’s very efficient and still young!

The wheel seems such a simple idea; electricity; computers and laptops; planes still amaze me, all that weight with no strings to keep them up; and then you have the television.

Someone once told me that knowledge is power; I agree.  I am a fan of television, and hate the highbrow, snobby attitude of some people who say they never watch television, (ask them about a character on a soap and chances are they know them!).

Like many ‘gadgets’, television has moved on so fast.  I remember as a very young kid, and I repeat, very young kid, I asked a couple of American air force guys my father had brought home for dinner one night if they had colour television in America.  This was in Cardiff and my Dad had just bought a colour television.  They kindly smiled at me.


I love it in National Lampoon’s European Vacation (big Chevy Chase fan) when they arrive at the hotel in London and the son tells his parents that the television is broken, he can only get three channels!

Yesterday we had America’s 250 channel package installed – and will still complain about there being nothing on to watch!  The day before Bailey had told me he had watched Top Gear on his iPad whilst in the bath!  I am obviously a bad influence.  We do have a television in every room, except the bathroom – so far, you can even buy them or even one for outdoors!  It is all getting too much.

You can get apps for CNN, Sky, BBC, local Nashville television stations and more for your tablets and smartphones – watch last night’s match on the train and a film in a park – your very own drive in theatre, well, sort of.

Television can be hugely educational of course, National Geographic, the History channel and of course Elmo and Sesame Street has helped millions of children to read.

I’ve realised though that, much as I love doing so, watching television at night before you sleep does not help me to get a good night’s sleep – and at my age I need my beauty sleep more than ever!  it’s all to do with Michael Stipe, or rather REM.  Your eyes get tired but not necessarily your brain.

As a kid I used to read every night, without fail, (I had over 200 hundred Enid Blyton books by the time I was ten) and I have realised that I have stopped doing so and this is going to change.  

Curling up with a good book is unbeatable, even if it is on a Kindle or your iPad.  Reading is a great magic carpet ride into someone’s imagination and a good writer will take into their world, one that they have created, or maybe a biography lets you in to the see the real person behind their public mask.

Audio books have also increased in popularity, although I prefer to read a book myself rather than someone else put their understanding of say a character or a scene.

It just so happens that I can recommend the perfect book for this time of year – Spring; A Trilogy, three stories of betrayal, love, revenge, all written by yours truly and available now from Amazon!

A blatant plug I know but I have to pay for all these televisions and other gadgets somehow!


Posted April 12, 2012 by Jon Johanson in Uncategorized

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