Is anytime of the day a good time to watch the news? I don’t know about you, but whenever I watch the news, I end up feeling angry, or sad, or frustrated, or disappointed, or overwhelmed, or hopeless, or some combination of the above. Most news telecasts are very early in the morning, or very late at night.
Do I really want to start my day with an order of doom and a side of gloom?
Or, for that matter, why would I want to finish off my day with big dollop of cynicism on top?
In our latest podcast, Kim and I spoke with Jen Robinson on the topic of children’s books. Jen mentioned that she almost always ended her day with a little bit of reading. Kim noted the irony of how many children end their days with a parent reading them a story, while many adults end their days with the evening news. Maybe that’s why, according to the National Sleep Foundation, approximately 70 million people in the United States are affected by a sleep problem. The Adultitis monster is no longer under our beds… it has taken up residence in our heads.
Jen said that one of the things she likes about children’s books is that the characters and stories seem so much more epic and heroic. It’s hard to get that from 10-second sound bytes on the evening news.
What would the world look like, as Kim suggested during the interview, if everyone finished their day with stories filled with big dreams, happy endings, and good triumphing over evil? Would our sleep problems go down? Would the morning commute be more cheerful, or at least more civil? Would families be stronger, students be more eager, and CEOs be more likely to do the right thing?
I’m not advocating that we bury our head in the sand, ignoring the reality around us. But is the news really reality, anyway? I see more jerks, idiots, and malcontents on one news telecast than I do in a whole month of actually living my life. Besides, I still have a pretty good idea of what’s going on even though I rarely watch the news. The important things have a way of getting our attention.
It would be cool to see the effects of an entire nation trading in the evening news for a few pages of a good children’s book. (Looking for some good ones? Besides Jen Robinson’s blog, check out Bookwink.com and JustOneMoreBook.com.)
What do you think? Would we see any kind of difference? Or am I just being crazy and idealistic?
[tags]children’s books, children’s literature, Jen Robinson, Bookwink.com, Justonemorebook.com, news, sleep problems, sleep disorders[/tags]
Andrea -- Just One More Book! Podcast says
Hi Kim & Jason,
I agree completely.
In fact, during an interview for our show, kidlit author and poet Sheree Fitch suggested that we not only replace the nightly news with the reading of great children’s books but that if the UN sat around the table and read a good quality children’s book the world would be a much better place to live:
Thanks a tonne for spreading the word about the “Just One More Book!” podcast!!
Ah, the UN reading children’s books…now that’s a great fantasy! But something I’d give anything to see.
I agree totally. Many years ago I stopped watching TV in the evenings unless its to share an everliving classic DVD such as “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” or “Sound of Music” or ” Willy Wonka’s chocholate factory”. Its amazing how I view these films now. I adore them and love to share the magic with my daughter. Give me dreams, imagination, colour and fun anyday before I go to bed! YIPEE!! I love your articles they make my day and are so on my wave length! Am spreading the word about your website across the UK
Have a fantastic day filled with lots of fun and laughter!
Mary, Thanks for the kind words! I think it’s so cool that you are able to share your love for those films with your daughter. What a wonderful gift to be able to pass along!
I agree as well. Nightly news is filled with so much negativity about the world. Now if it highlighted the good that people are doing & is being done around the country/world, now that is something I could watch. I didn’t even realize, but I don’t think I’ve watched the news really since I was growing up in my parents household & by that time, it was just an indication of bedtime anyway. I don’t even miss the news. There are so many better things to do like read children’s books to calm our minds before we sleep! Great suggestion!