Book Review: Living Outside The Box By Barbara Brock

Written by: Thomas Garside, Family Care Office Librarian

For the overworked and those under strain, Barbara Brock has written Living Outside the Box: TV-Free Families Share Their Secrets. This book intertwines external research, evidence from a survey done by Brock, and personal stories to explain how and why some families choose to live without T.V. I found some of the research to be a bit unclear, but the personal stories persuasively argue why we should eliminate or reduce the amount of T.V. we watch at home. As a student I know T.V. takes up too much precious time without yielding any real satisfaction. Families will find even more reasons by reading the cases in this book. All of the respondents have families themselves. Their experiences realistically describe the immediate trials and long term satisfaction some families experience when getting rid of television. As Maryam Fazl noted in her 2010 review of the book for the FCO newsletter, Brock offers “improved relationships, increased meaningful children-parent conversations, higher grades, less pressure to keep up with the latest toys and video games, more time spent outside, and improved physical fitness” to those who give up television. This book, along with many others dealing with the impacts of technology on the family, is available for check out from the FCO library.