Jerome K. Jerome (1859 – 1927) was a British author and playwright from one of the sillier tribes who is best remembered for his humorous travelogue Three Men in a Boat (1889). In the attached interview, the humorist laments that the novels in his day (as opposed to our own) so seldom inspire any real use of the mind:
"Books have become the modern narcotic. China has adopted the opium habit for want of fiction. When China obtains each week her 'Greatest Novel Of The Century', her 'Most Thrilling Story Of The Year', her 'Best Selling Book Of The Season' the opium den will be no more needed."
From Amazon: Three Men in a Boat