Some of the happiest people I know hardly ever read books. They did read books when they were in school or in college. But in their working lives, they hardly do. It was amusing to see Michel Houellebecq echoing similar views in his piece on HP Lovecraft in The Guardian recently. Here is what he says:
"Those who love life do not read. Nor do they go to the movies, actually. No matter what might be said, access to the artistic universe is more or less entirely the preserve of those who are a little fed up with the world."
And did you think writing was tough business? Michel thinks so.
"Life is painful and disappointing. It is useless, therefore, to write new, realistic novels. We generally know where we stand in relation to reality and don't care to know any more. Humanity, such as it is, inspires only an attenuated curiosity in us. All those prodigiously refined notations, situations, anecdotes ... All they do, once a book has been set aside, is reinforce the slight revulsion that is already adequately nourished by any one of our "real life" days."