I haven’t always been an avid reader. When I was a kid, I would run away from books. I did whatever I had to do so as not to read. I watched a lot of television; it is easier than reading so it was a no brainer for me. I did the whole summer reading thing, but that was never for the reading, just the prizes. And sometimes, I didn’t actually do the reading.
Before I go on, I should mention that I do believe listening to an audio book is just as worthwhile as reading a book. Regardless, how you bring the words into your mind, whether through letters on a page, pixels on a screen, or words through a speaker, the result is the same. Given my daily commute, I don’t have the luxury of time to read. However, with Audible, I have access to all the literature I want. Audible is now my primary source of literature.
As I said, I wasn’t an avid reader in my youth. However, one day, when I was still in high school, a good friend of mine gave me a book to read, Wizard’s First Rule. I figured since he gave it to me and he was so excited about it, I would read at least the first few pages. After reading those first few pages I decided to read the next few chapters, and then the next few chapters. Before I knew what had happened I had finished the whole book. This single book, the whole series in fact, was my entrance back into the wide world of literature that I had sought escape from for so long. If it hadn’t been suggested to me in just the right way, I would never have gotten back into reading. That is why this series will always hold a special place in my heart.
And as the saying goes, “Youth is wasted on the young.” Now that I don’t have the time to read I wish I could reclaim the time I wasted when younger and use it to read or write, rather than being so obsessed with TV. That said, there are some good shows on television, but they are few and far between. Some like Castle, Angel, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer have excellent story-lines and can be good for the brain. It also helps that they have a good dose of humor. Sadly, however, most TV shows are just candy, good in the short run but will ruin your health over time.
Now, what makes a good book, movie, or television show to me? Story is king, and the story will raise or sink whatever it is I’m trying to enjoy. The story, as a whole, has to be good. If any part of the story, beginning, middle, or end limps, then it can destroy the whole story for me. A perfect example is Unbreakable with Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis. The movie was great right up until the end where I forever lost interest in it. Now television shows and a series of books are different. There will be weak episodes or books, but so long as it isn’t each sequel, it’s okay by me.
TV Shows that have influenced me (list not in any particular order)
- Stargate SG1 – The show was fantastic for ten seasons, it did have a few lulls in story telling in my opinion but from beginning to end it was fantastic.
- Stargate Universe – I have only seen the first season but I truly enjoyed this darker Stargate tale. It should have been allowed to grow much like Atlantis was able to.
- Doctor Who – Tom Baker will forever be my doctor but I am thankful that this fantastic show has come back and it has brought in three fantastic new doctors so far. Though I do wish David Tennent still held the role, no offense to Matt Smith; he just isn’t David Tennent.
- Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly and Dollhouse — Joss Wheadon’s stories are all very thought provoking and I would watch anything this man is involved in, which does includ Toy Story, of all things.
- Star Trek and Star Trek Deep Space Nine — While the original did not have an overarching story line, I have very fond mermories of this show from my youth. And Deep Space Nine had the best storyline of all the various Star Trek television shows, without question, despite its being a space station.
- Babylon 5 – One of the few exceptions to my own rule on endings. While I don’t like the ending of Babylon 5 that hasn’t stopped me from enjoying the rest of the series every now and again.
Some movies that have influenced me (not a complete list nor in any particular order)
Authors that have influenced me (list not in any particular order)