If you’ve read The Weird Sisters you know that one of the major themes is the ways in which books and reading influence our lives. My parents always taught me to take something to read wherever I went, because you never know when you are going to be stuck somewhere and need a little diversion. Frankly, I find unexpected delays delightful, because I get to sneak in a few more pages.
But lately I’ve noticed a serious intrusion into these beautifully unexpected respites of reading time.
I noticed this first at the doctor’s office, where once we had all sat happily reading our out-of-date magazines, a television appeared. And a loud one at that. During the day. When the talk shows are on.
And now I feel like they’re everywhere (I think the lowest point was at the pump at the gas station). If I’m the only person in the room, I’ll figure out how to turn the volume down or ask if I can turn it off so I can read in peace. But if there are other people there, I feel like it has to stay on.
Except it doesn’t. Have you seen these devices? The TV-B-Gone is advertised as a way to turn off virtually any television. It looks like a car’s remote control and you can ostensibly click it and give you (and everyone around you, whether they want it or not) a little peace and quiet.
The readerly part of me is oh-so-tempted. One click, and, ah, beautiful silence. After all, if the television weren’t on, maybe everyone else around me would go back to reading too.
But the polite part of me is uncomfortable. What if someone really does want to watch that talk show? Do I have the right to decide how other people spend their time?
So should I buy one and give myself a chance at a few more moments of peace? Or should I let it be and just tell the people wherever I am that I really wish they wouldn’t have one?
What would you do?
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