In the past seven days, I have watched exactly one hour of television. (I caught "House" on Tuesday night.) And let me tell you, it wasn't anywhere near as entertaining as a good book.
As you might surmise, the film and TV writers' strike, even if prolonged, will affect my life not at all. Maybe I'm a little unusual in that respect. Still, I can't help wondering whether the studios and the Writers Guild of America are about to (unwittingly) sign the death warrant for their industry. I'll be surprised if droves of TV-addicted Americans don't find it easy to kick the habit once their viewing choices have dwindled to endless reruns interspersed with cobbled-together "reality" shows.
I just found this interesting bit in the Los Angeles Times:
Almost 2 out of 3 Americans, or 63%, said they were more inclined to side with writers in their dispute with major studios, according to a survey by Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business Management that is scheduled to be released today.
Will that percentage increase as time goes by and Americans get cranky because they're missing their shows? Will the disgruntled viewers settle down to watch bad television, or will they abandon their TV habits? This from the Times article:
[Pepperdine labor economist David] Smith said the public support could wane if the strike disrupted consumers' TV viewing habits. Though several shows have stopped shooting, viewers won't notice much change until early next year, when reruns, sports and reality shows replace scripted programs.
When asked about the prospect of reruns replacing new shows, and 35% said they would spend more time on the Internet.
42% of the respondents said they would read more.
Just three months ago, The Washington Post reported this:
One in four adults read no books at all in the past year, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll released Tuesday [August 21]. Of those who did read, women and older people were most avid, and religious works and popular fiction were the top choices.
The survey reveals a nation whose book readers, on the whole, can hardly be called ravenous. The typical person claimed to have read four books in the last year _ half read more and half read fewer. Excluding those who hadn't read any, the usual number read was seven.
It'll be interesting to see if the Writers Guild of America strike drives book sales up.
Will you be reading more than ever this winter? Have your say in the Comments.