I’ve been feeling guilty lately. No, this isn’t about being a delinquent blogger. It’s about watching too much TV on the internet. Recently, I’ve been addicted to the second season of Bones, that wonderfully goofy and touching TV show about forensic anthropology and the FBI. It’s cut into my reading time–mostly because I’m back in school again and everything cuts into my reading time. For many people, this wouldn’t be an issue. There is something so enjoyable about loving a TV show and being able to immerse yourself in it. But I’ve been worried–am I becoming less of a reader? Fortunately, I’m fairly certain the answer is no.
How could one TV show be so absorbing and so satisfying? Because it tells a good story. I have always loved forensics, since I devoured the Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell at the age of 11. On top of fun science, Bones has satisfying personal relationships and storylines that they manage to fit into their procedural shows. I’m impressed. And I keep watching.
I’m not saying Bones is the only good story out there, or that I’ve given up good books for good TV. I just think that it fits into my love of stories told well.
I’ve been lucky enough to read some great books recently. I finished Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson, one of the best historical fiction titles EVER. Seriously. I had mediocre hopes–Laurie Halse Anderson writes great stories but who wants to read another book set during the Revolutionary War? Turns out that I do. I’m ready for the sequel Forge. The way Isabel, our 13 year old narrator, tells her story in Chains is absorbing. Learning about Loyalists and Rebels through the eyes of a slave who cares more about her own freedom than the freedom of her country, we learn a lot about history. Or at least, I learned a lot about the importance of perspective during the Revolutionary War. And I loved Isabel. Anderson tells an unsexy story but an important one. It didn’t matter that this wasn’t the kind of story I usually like–it was just told so well. Isabel was real, so was her predicament and her growth as a character. I recommend this book to basically everyone.
Bottom line: Good stories exist everywhere. On TV, in books, in video games, or told by your friends. So I won’t beat myself up over my addiction to Bones but I will keep trying to figure out how they manage to tell their story so well. And I’ll keep looking for good stories in different mediums.