As a seasoned binge-watcher/reader, I’ve come to actually prefer this form of consumption over slower paced methods. I define binge-watching/reading as getting through a book or show in under 1 week, maybe 2 for longer pieces (or simply using all of your free time to read/watch something until it’s finished). I generally don’t read or watch anything which hasn’t already been completed. Whether it’s a book or an anime, I now usually wait until the series is completed and then get through it rather quickly.
Here are 5 reasons why:
1. It’s easier to understand the story
I easily get confused and forget plot details when reading/watching something with long intervals between each chapter/episode. I got suckered into reading the Attack on Titan manga when the second season was taking too long to come out, but the manga is still in progress. One chapter is released every month, and people, I AM SO LOST. I’ve forgotten major plot elements, and I feel like I’m just going through the motions now (I can’t stop because everyone I know is reading the manga and spoiler trolls lurk around every corner). With such a nuanced story, it’s easy to fall behind and forget things. It’s not like I’m keeping a journal of what’s going on in each chapter. There’s no way to remember all the details when there’s so much time between each reading.
2. A more immersive experience
The tension, suspense, and general atmosphere of a story, along with your connection to the characters, are way more captivating when you read/watch it quickly. With long intervals between each sitting, you lose some emotional traction.
3. Better for re-reading/watching
While binge-watching/reading is way better for your short-term memory, it’s not as good for remembering things in the long term. And I actually think that’s a good thing. A while down the road, you can once again enjoy the book/show and still be surprised by many details you had forgotten. You’ll remember the destination, but you’ll be enjoying much of the journey as if it’s the first time.
4. You’re more likely to actually complete it
When you get confused during the regular, spaced out run of a show/manga, you’re more likely to lose interest and just not complete the series. Also, breaks between episode airings and manga releases can mean you get caught up in other things and just never return to it. That’s happened to me before with mangas I really loved, ex. Naruto and Bleach. I still haven’t caught up with them, even though they’re now complete.
5. Great for de-stressing
Binge-watching/reading is great for relaxing and escaping from stress. The immersive nature of the practice provides an effective distraction from your problems.
Overall, although some people regard it as an ill-mannered thing to do, and although you might feel guilty afterwards since you’ve spent so much time on one thing (even though you’d spend the same amount of time even if it was spaced out!), binge-watching/reading does have it’s benefits. When I read/watch something for pure entertainment or inspiration, I usually prefer allotting the maximum amount of time to it so I can get through it quickly.