99Telepodproblems shared this Defamer post with us. And I started reading the comments, and then I was just reading the one thread that starts with "Is it THAT fucking hard to read a book?" There were then 135 responses on whether or not it is hard to read a book, or if you should be expected to read a book, or if you have time to read a book, or if you don't have time to read a book because you have a job, etc.... Eventually someone got around to even people who don't have a job sometimes don't read because they are depressed.
This is true. This is a thing. Sometimes depressed people don't read or do whatever it is that they like to do when they have time for it, even when you would think that they have lots of free time.
I had noticed this myself. You have all this stuff you want to read, and then you suddenly have time to read, and then the books still just sit there unopened. And I don't mean like when you have the occasional long weekend or something, I mean when you have lots and lots of time, maybe time that you didn't expect to have, because you lost your job or something. And it isn't just reading, it's a lot of other stuff too, but I guess reading is the most obvious, cause if you like to read, you can almost always find something, and often you can read it for free.
Recently we (in America) had the government shutdown, which meant that we had some federal employees who were working and not getting paid but hoping to get paid later, federal employees who were not working and not getting paid and not knowing if they would ever get paid for the time that they didn't work, and other people in the private sector not working and not getting paid and not knowing if they would ever get paid for the time that they did not work because their jobs were somehow connected to government stuff. I know a few people this happened to, and even the ones who didn't have to work but did later get paid for that time said that they mostly stayed home and did nothing, and other than finish reading books they were already reading they didn't get much done. So they did not buy any new books or buy much of anything except food, cause they didn't know if they were going to get paid or not. They had crafts that they wanted to do and home improvement stuff that they wanted to do, but they didn't do any of that. And then being frustrated that they couldn't do any of that, most of them either did not think to spend some extra time at the library, or else at first they did but then found that they couldn't focus on reading much. They tended to spend a lot of time watching TV or on the internet.
I don't have a job, and I've not had a job for a long time. I used to read a lot, but I mostly gave that up a few years ago. I do think some of it is being a bit depressed, and there is a difference between not getting a job because my husband makes enough money that my getting a job would just be annoying and then later not getting a job because mostly I don't think that I could handle it for very long. So there is that. And there's also physical, it's just too annoying now trying to read that much. My usual bad eyesight has now crossed paths with I am getting old and can't read by holding a book right up to my face. It just isn't comfortable to read much anymore.
In college (the time I went to college about ten years ago) we read a book called The Road To Wigan Pier, which talked a lot about men who had low paying jobs and then men who were laid off from work. Most of these laid off men used to have low paying jobs and were not highly educated, and some of them did not even know how to read. And they mostly seemed to go to movies and such, and maybe they drank more or used tobacco more, but not many of them did much useful with their time, and most of them did not spend much time reading. Even the people who could read and enjoyed reading for the most part did not spend a lot of time at the library or otherwise reading, though that would have solved most of the problems of finding something to do with their time and being in a warm safe place and all of that. Just something happened to them mentally, and after their jobs were taken away they just couldn't seem to focus on doing anything else.
So sometimes, yes, it does seem like someone should just read a book. But sometimes it really isn't anyone's business if someone doesn't read a particular book or certain kinds of books. For whatever reason, maybe someone just doesn't want to read that book or those books or wahtever. And sometimes it's just mean to suggest someone needs to read anything at all, especially when it's just fiction.