I wrote this post in 2015. Today, the same reasoning can be used for our today huge consumption of series on Netflix and other subscription streaming services, something that then not was as huge as it is today.  

(Previously in Swedish on this webbsite 2015)

In the Western world, reading of crime novels has increased dramatically over the past 20 years. Crime fiction has been a popular type of literature for much longer than that, but something has happened in recent decades. It may seem rather trivial what people read in their spare time, but this can also be used as a mirror to highlight the welfare bubble of the 21st century.

Reading crime novels have a lot of similarity to drugs. What do you get out of reading a crime novel? Well, both are about escapism. You take refuge in an inner dream world where you are someone else, where you are respected, liked, smart and beautiful in a way that you do not feel you are in the real life. In the novels you can also fantasize about another more exciting and content life then your ordinary life.  

The increasing crime reading could be interpreted that we, in our secure welfare, are quite bored and not feeling in control of our lives. But to break up and try something else, we do not dare. Reading crime novels here acts as an anxiolytic and pacificating drug. The more we read and live in an inner fantasy world, the less room there is to think about real life and the real concerns we have, and that we should address.  

From a social point of view, this is a pretty “good” drug for the society. It pacifies us and keeps us at the production stage and keeps us to be good consumers. The drug also does not break us down physically and is also significantly less dangerous than other similar drugs such as gambling. But the similarity to drugs addictiveness is still obvious, when you have finished a book, there is a feeling of emptiness that leads to a craving for one more.

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