Dear Reader, many years ago, when I was a young dandy who taught English literature at a private school, I inflicted the greatest possible pain on my students by making them read “David Copperfield” by Charles Dickens. All 789 pages — or more depending upon your edition.
There were anguished cries and rebellious threats. Several students even fainted, along with their parents and household pets, but I ignored them because the assignment was for their own good. I hasten to add that it also helped Dickens, who sold a few more novels, although he never made the “New York Times” bestseller list.