I am an addict. My life is reading and writing. (Well, and some travelling too.) Yang Wanli, a Chinese poet who lived back in the 12th century saw books as a distraction from the way of the Buddha. Books, to him, were probably like TV or internet to us who criticize them today is. He didn't approve of books. They took away from mindful presence. So he wrote:
Don’t read books!
Don’t chant poems!
When you read books your eyeballs wither away
leaving the bare sockets.
When you chant poems your heart leaks out slowly
with each word.
People say reading books is enjoyable.
People say chanting poems is fun.
But if your lips constantly make a sound
like an insect chirping in autumn,
you will only turn into a haggard old man.
And even if you don’t turn into a haggard old man,
it’s annoying for others to have to hear you.
It’s so much better
to close your eyes, sit in your study,
lower the curtains, sweep the floor,
It’s beautiful to listen to the wind,
listen to the rain,
take a walk when you feel energetic,
and when you’re tired go to sleep.
(translation by Jonathan Chaves)