GLENDALE, AZ–When Matt Kaiser gets tired of watching movies or TV, or listening to music, there's nothing he likes better than to curl up in his favorite chair and escape into a good book about movies, TV, or music.
"You can only watch TV for so long," Kaiser said. "After a while, you need something a little more mentally stimulating. That's when I like to crack open one of my favorite books about TV, like The Nitpickers Guide To Star Trek or The Real Real World. Or, if I'm tired of television altogether, I'll read up on the making of Titanic or flip through one of my many video or music guides. It's a relaxing and contemplative time for me."
Added Kaiser: "I just don't understand people who don't like books."
Kaiser, 26, an information-technologies administrator with Datco Industries in Phoenix, has been reading about movies, TV, and music ever since he was a child.
"My love affair with books began when I was eight," Kaiser said. "For my birthday, my parents gave me a novelization of a Diff'rent Strokes episode, and from that moment on, I was hooked."
Today, Kaiser calls himself "a confirmed bibliophile," and his apartment shows it: Tucked in amongst his stereo, DVD player, VCR, and three TVs are literally hundreds of books about movies, TV, and music–everything from The Brady Bible to 'Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy (And Other Misheard Lyrics).
"I used to read a lot more magazines," Kaiser said, "but once you've read a good book, magazines don't quite cut it. I like Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone as much as the next guy, but they just don't have the depth of, say, Entertainment Weekly's 1999 Year In Movies or The Rolling Stone Record Guide."
Kaiser credits his reading habit with making him a more well-rounded person.
"I can't imagine that anyone with a basic appreciation of culture wouldn't enjoy educating themselves on, say, the history of The Ed Sullivan Show or the art of the Star Wars movies," Kaiser said. "I recently read There Are Places I'll Remember, a great photo book of locations from Beatles songs accompanied by the original lyrics. And that, in turn, has kindled my interest in other Beatles photo books. That's how you discover new things."
"I'll always treasure the gift of reading," said Kaiser, who is currently reading Come As You Are: The Story Of Nirvana. "Books can transport the reader to magical places inside the world of other forms of media."