This unexplainable preference is evident in his choice of reading material as well—he voraciously consumes magazines and newspapers and the occasional non-fiction book. This afternoon he asked me why I liked the TV shows and books that I do. So I asked myself the same question. Yes, fiction is fun, but surely there must be more to it than that. After all, televised ball games and non-fiction books are fun for him so fun can’t be the only reason our tastes differ.
I think I finally figured it out. I like to escape. When I open a book, I don’t want to learn something unless it’s a by-product of an entertaining story. The same thing applies to my television viewing. If in the course of a story on the apocalypse, I learn something about nuclear or biological weapons, all well and good, but I want to be entertained first. I want to escape for an hour or so from the reality of a world where people blow themselves up or open fire on schoolchildren, cops, and people out on the town. My husband sometimes accuses me of only liking TV shows that show people killing people, but as I point out to him, the good guys usually win in the shows I watch and the books I read. That doesn’t always (usually?) happen in real life.
The scariest show on television? The nightly news. The scariest reading matter on the planet? The newspaper. I’ll take a zombie apocalypse any day, thank you!