When books show up on TV

I’m not really into television. I don’t know most of the popular shows that people talk about, and there aren’t any programs I’m currently following. But I’ve never claimed to be someone who never watches television. I have my favourite shows, and I’ll watch those favourites again and again. And, of course, if one of those shows mentions books, I’ll enjoy it even more. I’ve gathered a few clips of a few of my favourite shows talking about books.

Seinfeld

Books show up more than once in Seinfeld. I mean, Elaine Benes works at a publisher, for crying out loud. But this clip speaks to me, because I totally understand George wanting to get his books back from his ex (“They’re my books!”).

Peep Show

Peep Show is a brilliant British comedy that follows Mark and Jez, two friends/roommates who are basically the odd couple. Mark is uptight and awkward, and Jez is cool and laid-back. In this clip, Jez is trying to read Wuthering Heights for a book club to impress a woman, and he asks Mark to teach him how to read a book.

The Office (US)

Everyone always says the British The Office is better, and they are probably right. But I saw the American version first, so it will always have a special place in my heart. In this clip, Jim has asked Pam if he can join The Finer Things Club, which she and two other co-workers have formed. They are meeting to discuss Angela’s Ashes, and Jim hasn’t read the book.

IT Crowd

This is such a short clip, but IT Crowd is so great, and I love Richard Ayoade, who plays Moss, the character who receives two copies of Harry Potter in this clip.

I might not be hugely into television, but I know there are some really great shows out there. Readers shouldn’t feel like they can’t put their books down to enjoy some of this programming. And every now and then, books will show up on TV, and those moments will make whatever you’re watching even better.

Five Seinfeld moments and what they say about communications

Seinfeld was—and still is—one of my favourite television shows. The show “about nothing” often commented on how people communicate. Here are a few Seinfeld moments and what they say about communications.

1. “Yada, yada, yada”

Lesson: Be clear and explicit when you speak. Don’t gloss over details of the story, expecting your audience to know what you mean. If you rely on the other party to figure it out, you’re allowing them to fill in the gaps with their own details.

2. The puffy shirt

Lesson: If you don’t understand something, say so. Many of us will simply nod if we don’t hear or understand what someone is saying. It’s as though we feel it’s impolite to ask the person to speak up or to repeat what they’ve said. But it’s not impolite. And by thoughtlessly nodding, we can set ourselves up for great misunderstandings. So if you don’t understand, don’t nod.

3. The Moops 

Lesson: Remember to pay attention to detail. We all make the occasional typo, but some of these mistakes are worse than others. If you don’t proofread carefully, you could release incorrect information to the rest of the world.

4. The exclamation point

Lesson: Exclamation points are usually not a good idea. Most of the time, they aren’t necessary and overuse can annoy or distract readers. If you really feel an exclamation point is needed to denote excitement or anger in your writing, remember that one is always enough (i.e., “Great!” not “Great!!!!!”).

5. The counter

Lesson: Make eye contact when you’re conversing with someone. Eye contact is important because we get visual cues from each other when we are talking. We can see if the person is interested, bored or if they even heard us correctly in the first place.

Now, I wonder what all those hours of watching Saved by the Bell taught me.