WATCHING television drama is more mind-expanding than reading contemporary fiction, it has been claimed.
Leading intellectuals believe that the quality of televised entertainment has increased in inverse proportion to that of books, which are now all about footballers, celebrities and vampires.
English literature professor Roy Hobbs said: “Book shops used to be havens of the mind, now they are full of bondage-busters and lilac-coloured paperbacks about sassy single women juggling a harem of hot men.
“And I can’t enthuse my students about the printed word when last Friday’s Justified kicked the shit out of anything by Hanif Kureishi.”
Readers are increasingly ostracised for their perverse lowbrow interests, with most office water cooler congregations now segregated into television sophisticates, non-spoilers, and bottomfeeders.
Legal manager Julian Cook said: “My boss asked what I’d done with my weekend and replied that I’d been rereading Joyce’s Ulysses.
“To my surprise, he sneered and said ‘Well, I suppose if you don’t want to stretch yourself,’ and turned away to discuss allegorical themes in The Good Wife with the work experience kid.
I used to boast about being in a book group. Now people ask me if it’s some kind of therapy.