Is Oprah the new educator?

Does anyone still own a library card? And use it? 

It has come to my attention that many, many people watch Oprah during prime time. Or even tape the show to watch later. Although I rarely do myself, I have watched parts of some of her talk show, and she definitely has a talent. She has the gift of the gab.

She has a huge following, in the US and Canada, that I can see. It’s almost like she’s a cult leader, and I mean this in the nicest way.

Having said that, I came across more and more prevalant remarks made by people around me. They remark how guest speakers of the Oprah show educate them in various topics, from health to food to decorating. So every once in a while, I tune it.

For example, this Dr. Oz was talking about avocados and testicles on yesterday’s show. Or there is this cute decorator guys, Nate. He has some nifty ideas about style in the home. Then there was, in the past, Dr. Phil, who now has his own show. Plus she does shows on normal, everyday people doing extraordinary things.

I don’t know why I’m recounting this, most people watch her show. And maybe I’m missing something  by not tuning in regularly.

But I have say at the same time that some of her educating themes and topics, no matter how current and valid, can be “learned” by books too. In fact, books, rather than commercial-interrupted talk shows, have the ability to go into more detail. They present views that are left open for your own interpretation, rather than have it glossed over and supplemented by the media.

Which is not to say that Oprah shouldn’t have her show. Or her following.

I’m simply wondering out loud if people still read books on topics that she covers.

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One thought on “Is Oprah the new educator?

  1. Hi – came across your site looking up Montessori info. Yes, people do still read. I’m in Seattle, past two-time champ as America’s most literate city. (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004095919_literacy28m.html). But I’ve heard more lately about educators focusing on different learning styles, so it’s quite possible that given the choice between reading the same info in a book or watching a show about it, many people would choose the show because they absorb info better by seeing and hearing someone present it, rather than reading it. Also, as a new mom of a little girl a month older than yours, I no longer have the long stretches of unfettered time I used to for reading. I have a book on hold at the library now and I’m debating whether it’s worth picking up because I won’t be able to read it all before it’s due back, which will just frustrate me to no end. But I crave the info. Grrr. Lack of time: common challenge of moms the world over. Thanks for the entry. I’m RSSing you so I’ll have yet another thing that I’m annoyed about not having enough time to read. 😉

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