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So many channels, so little worth watching! Do you sometimes find yourself muttering those words? Next week is TV Turnoff Week so give that TV a well-deserved rest, and instead say: So many books worth reading, so little time!

People in the US watch TV for more than four hours a day. That's equivalent to sitting in front of a TV for two full months nonstop every year. It's not for nothing that TV has been called the plug-in drug, the boob tube, and the idiot box. For more, see this and this.

It's time to redefine television, from Greek tele- (far) + Latin vision- (view), as something that deserved to be seen far, far away. Instead, get closer to books. Cut your screen time and increase your page time. This week we'll explore a few words from the world of books.

belles-lettres (bel-LET-ruh) noun

Literary works valued for their aesthetic qualities rather than information or instruction.

[From French belles (fine) + lettres (letters, literature).]

See more usage examples of belles-lettres in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

-Anu Garg (garg AT wordsmith.org)

"Unlike official or traditional poetry, the poetry of survival is not made up of consolations but of solutions. Unlike our belles-lettres, this book is fact-dependent, not word-dependent." Miroslav Holub; The Invaders; Virus X: Tracking the New Killer Plagues; Los Angeles Times, Feb 2, 1997.


The question why there is evil in existence is the same as why there is imperfection... But this is the real question we ought to ask: Is this imperfection the final truth, is evil absolute and ultimate? -Rabindranath Tagore, poet, philosopher, author, songwriter, painter, educator, composer, Nobel laureate (1861-1941)


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