Aside: Overheard in the book store

I bought Mikhail Bulgakov's The Fatal Eggs today. It was recommended to me by James Higgs, who has been working with me on the Telegraph's blog relaunch. It sounds great. As I bought the book this afternoon I overheard two people chatting. One of them was buying a book and to my astonishment the other one said: "I hate reading."

What kind of lunacy is this? It reminds me of that woman from Big Brother who said she loves blinking. It's such a weirdly meaningless thing to say.

Does this guy really hate reading anything? What about email or text messaging? Is his entire life conducted by looking at the pictures?

I've met people who don't like reading fiction because they think it's a waste of time. It sounds like lack of imagination to me but ok, I can understand that. I've even met people who won't read books at all because it's too much effort. I think they're a little lazy but at least they read something. How can you just hate reading though?

Now I know it's facile to associate reading with somehow being Good For You, just as it's ridiculous to think that watching TV as being Bad For You. And don't get me started on those who make judgements on people who play video games. But even so, surely it's reasonable to assume that somebody who says they "hate reading" is a vacuous moron?