Reading TV

So this week, I have not managed to read a single book. I spent the majority of my leisure time this week – time I’d normally have spent reading or sleeping – starting and finishing the hit Korean fantasy romance drama Goblin.

I watch an average amount of TV per week, I’d say. I spend maybe 45 mins to an hour every day watching some TV – generally it’s on as background noise otherwise. Main-lining Goblin into my cranium this week definitely skewed my leisure time! (I sacrificed sleep and reading – exercise time remained intact. Coffee consumption went up significantly.)

Each episode ranges from 75-90 minutes, 16 episodes in the series, meaning I spent approximately 22 hours this week watching TV, meaning a 360% increase in TV consumption this week.

But! I started to wonder – since I was watching a Korean drama, technically I was doing more reading (of subtitles) than actual watching. I was wondering, words-wise, how many books this translates into.

Reading my TV: Lets Math It Up

Lets say the average number of words in an average novel is about 60k.

According to this study on film dialogue, 1 minute of dialogue on-screen runs to about 140 words.

At an average of 82.5 minutes per episode, at 16 episodes, thats 184,800 words of dialogue read.

Of course, I assume that roughly half of the screen-time isn’t dialogue-packed, given the long, sweeping shots of landscape, slow-motion walking in and out of cars, loving zoom-ins on hero’s face etc. And generous use of music. So lets take that number and divide it by 2, giving us 92,400 words read.

Image result for goblin series

One of those really slo-mo shots

But! Obviously one of the great joys of getting into watching something is reading recaps and reviews afterwards. After every episode, I read the corresponding recap over at Dramabeans (highly recommended practice). Each recap is approximately 5500 words – 16 recaps = 88,000 words.

So altogether, I read 180,400 words this week.Which, at 60k a book, is about 3 books.

Math Conclusion: Watching one episode of Goblin was the equivalent of reading 0.19 books. (Or a fifth of a book)

Impact on reading and Other Thoughts

Last February, I had read 3 books by the 11th of the month. In comparison, I have read 2 books so far this month. So by a day to day comparison, I’m not lagging behind too tremendously.

Of course, if we equated it hour to hour, it takes me roughly 4 hours to finish a book. So theoretically I could have used that 22 hours I spent watching Goblin to read 5-6 books.

But, I didn’t, and I really enjoyed Goblin (my prevalent emotions were “WHAT ON EARTH” and also “hahaha” and “WOW Korean skin is a different species of skin to my skin”).

It’s been a while since I binge-watched something – I think the last time I did it was with the first season of Stranger Things, so I enjoyed the experience overall. I probably won’t pick up another series for a bit, so that I can get back to my regular schedule, but it was fun for one week.

Image taken from here

In conclusion

I did not read this week because I spent a disproportionate amount of time watching my first ever Korean drama series.

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One Response to Reading TV

  1. Zuliana Masri says:

    Hahahaha I love this. Well done kat! for reading an equivalent of 5-6 books worth of subtitles and background/reviews reading.

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