TV versus books… a desert island quandary!

desert island

I was reading an article on the BBC website earlier about how they’d carried out a poll to see how many people have lied about which books they’ve read, and it got me thinking – which is a rare event in itself! – I wonder just how many people prefer reading to watching TV?

This thought occurred just because I thought maybe if telly wasn’t available, the people in the BBC poll who’d lied about which books they’d read maybe would’ve actually read them, just for the want of something to do of an evening…

I realise that given this is a TV blog site, the odds are probably stacked in the telly’s favour, but nonetheless, I’d love to know the answer to this question… If you were plonked on a desert island, let’s say for one year, and you had a choice between having a TV or a huge stack of books to keep you entertained for that year, which would you choose?

This clip from YouTube shows a little girl who’s having a dilemma over which to do – read a book or watch TV – though not on a desert island!

I think for me, the TV vs books dilemma comes down to these quandaries…

primetime picks tvI’d want a TV to know what was going on in the world so I’d need to watch the news.

I’d also possibly get bored of reading non-stop whereas with TV – and for our purposes, we’re assuming it’s a telly with unlimited Sky channels – there’s at least variety available 24/7.

That said, no matter how many channels there are, there’ve been times when I’ve sat and flicked through them all and found nothing I want to watch, but with a big choice of books, I’m sure to be interested in at least a few of them.

BooksHowever, just how many books would you need to get you through a whole year and what if the ‘stack’ didn’t contain enough of the kind of books I like to read?

But then again, I’ve got books at home that I’ve re-read maybe fifty times so I guess that’s always an option.

My last dilemma is that I HAVE to read to be able to go to sleep; even if I’m dead on my feet and only get through one page, I still have to read something to be able to sleep whereas I can’t sleep if the TV’s on because the sound levels alter so much between ads and shows.

A sudden gunfight or Barry Scott yelling about Cillit Bang damn near gives me a heart attack, so I wake up with a start and rummage desperately around the duvet trying to locate the remote to turn it off…

But, if you chose to take a TV, what if there was a power cut on the island? No telly AND no books! That would be an entertainment disaster of unmitigated proportions…

So what’s it to be? TV or a stack of books? Or maybe you wouldn’t want either and would just love the peace and quiet of being on a desert island with absolutely no mental or visual stimuli whatsoever other than the gentle lapping of waves and the hiss of a warm wind breezing through palm tree fronds?

So please do take a minute to use the comment box below to register your vote… Here are the options –


Thank you! We’ll count up your votes and see which option wins by this time next week!


Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.