I grew up on the dogma that reading was good for you absolutely, and it wasn’t until college that I noticed different approaches to reading. I noticed that some ways of reading could be just as escapist as how one might mindlessly watching TV--not saying all TV is mindless, I'm just using the mindless viewing kind as an example here.
The main difference between useful and escapist reading seems to be that the former strengthens you for life, is a part of it, rather than acts as a pause from it.
It's unpleasant while you’re inside, but it is definitely pleasant for the rest of the day, for life. The difference between hot and cold showers might seem insignificant since a shower doesn't take long durations of time, but I think much can be gained from analyzing the parallels between the two different showers and the two different ways of reading.
In an hot shower, I never want to leave that steamy womb. Once I finally do leave, I am shivering cold and in pain adjusting to get back into what is the rest of my day. Whereas with the cold shower, I shiver inside the cold chamber, but then have no troubles leaving. And once I do hop out, I’m not cold at all. Instead I'm hardened and the world outside feels warm in comparison.
It gets me going on with my day much better. A hot shower is like a drug to me. Maybe you’re much stronger than me, but I need all the help I can get with getting rolling on life.