I just read the *best* book I've ever read to my kids. If you like sharing satisfying story time with your kids, go and google "The One And Only Ivan" by Katherine Applegate. It probably took us about a week to get through the whole book...a really rewarding and triumphant fiction, with roots in a true-life story. And for us, a refreshing deviation from the usual super-hero themed books my kids like to pick. I'm glad I exercised executive authority on this one.
Story time is something I kind of bear grudgingly. I don't like to half-ass it, because I know my kids are bright enough to know when I'm just going through the motions, which gives off mixed signals of insincerity. But I'm usually exhausted by the time story time comes around. And doing a good job at it usually means taking the effort to read ahead...figure out who's saying what, & what the tone should be like...it's hard to keep the effort up when your energy is low.
TV is so much easier. But it spoon feeds the CGI-enhanced visualization, and doesn't allow your kids to exercise their own imagination...doesn't allow them to pause the story and explore ideas. It's still fun family time, sitting around the TV watching a good comedy. But compared to a patiently crafted round of storytelling, the TV is a brain-dead substitute.
And my kids are of a certain age--still young enough where they think the world of you as their parent, with an amazing imagination, and an incredible ability to latch onto the images you create with them. Exploring a really good book like TOAOI adds good balance to our kids' otherwise hyper-energetic Marvel-comic super-hero world. It's a bit of a pain, but when the story is good...so worth the effort.
If you have one of your own you liked reading, post it up...I'd be curious.