The Mysteries of Udolpho

I came across this webpage while surfing the other day:

http://www.shibumi.org/eoti.htm

It said:

"The End of the Internet
Congratulations! This is the last page.
Thank you for visiting the End of the Internet. There are no more links.

You must now turn off your computer and go do something productive.

Go read a book, for pete's sake."

My first thought after reading it was, "is reading a book all that much better than surfing the internet?"

About the age of fifteen I started reading romance novels. The kind that go into exquisite detail about his "manhood" and her "lily white breasts". I was curious about sex and chose them as my textbook. There was a girl at church I knew who read them. Part of me wanted to different than who I was, and that meant being like her.

My consicounce got the better of me and I replace this fodder with religious romance novels. These were historical novels with bible verses and kissing but no detailed sex scenes.

Next I got hooked on Star Trek novels. For months all I read were Star Trek novels. Eventually I started feeling like they were empty. So I looked around the house. I noticed my brother had brought home "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen, from one of his college classes. I had previosuly been thrown off from "classics" by a previous attempt at reading "David Copperfield" by Charles Dickens. I picked "Pride and Prejudice" up and couldn't set it down until about 3 o'clock in the morning when I had finished the book. This led me on a trip to the library where I soon devoured Emma, Sense and Sensibilty, and Northanger Abby. My foray into the classics had begun.

Now years afterward, and several literature classes later, I am wondering if reading these classics is productive? I have long sense realized that I read to escape from bordem or what ever present reality I am in. It isn't often that I read to gain an insight or for some other edifiying enterprize.

Is reading anything better than reading nothing?