Franz Kafka said, “we ought to read only books that bite and sting us.” What’s the last thing you read that bit and stung you?
I don’t read bitey, stingy stuff. Why would I? Life is bitey and stingy enough without inviting the bites and stings back for a vicarious rerun.
See, to me, reading isn’t the intellectual and emotional workout it might have been in my youth. (I say ‘might have been’ because my youth was a very long time ago and consequently hazy.) I read for entertainment, and (again to me) there’s nothing remotely entertaining about interminable angst-ridden introspection, bleak pessimism, or stupidity you know is bound to end in tears. In fact I’m happy to read what others might consider crap, provided it’s well-written, entertaining crap that doesn’t root around in emotional memories best left undisturbed. This isn’t denial. I know what’s there. It’s common sense in the interests of a peaceful old age.
Kafka had Problems, poor chap. I sympathise. But that doesn’t mean I want to embrace his commitment to suffering.