As a creative writing instructor who assigns a lot of reading, I have at least a few introductory students each semester who complain about the material. It's not that it's too difficult or too dense. It's that it's too depressing. Reading the hard stuff can make you ache, but it can also feed you.
Let's face the inevitable truth that vacuity is a part of life that sometimes appears to be necessary, but let's not get caught in the false belief that we can call everything we put our eyes on "literature."
To really escape, I need something that requires concentrated attention, and for a book to keep me mesmerized, it either has to teach me something about myself, or it has to drop me into a lifescape that is at once noble and emotionally compelling.
Imagine an industry that sells over three billion products a year across the world. This is not an electronic gadget or a knife that can cut through a soda can, but rather a publishing genre known as the thriller. I am a thriller and crime fiction junkie.