People read for many different reasons. Sometimes they do it to acquire knowledge. Sometimes they want to inspire themselves. Sometimes, however, they want to do the literary equivalent of banging their heads against a rock. Take a look at how I use books to destroy myself.
"At least they're reading," is the idea that everyone falls back on, when looking at a child reading some execrable book. We take for granted the idea that reading is always salutary. And yet, I'm perfectly sure, that there is a dark, twisted side to reading. There's a compulsive side that leads us to harmful behavior again and again, because we just can't stop ourselves. This compulsion isn't a guilty pleasure. A guilty pleasure is something that, though it might interfere with your life, the benefits are immediate and obvious. You know you'll enjoy it. Self-destructive reading is the kind of reading you do even though you know it's going to suck.
I blame Stephen King for my habit. I could steer clear of his doorstop-like novels, but then he had to publish collections of short, scary stories. Each little chunk of morbid horror was right there, and could be read in a few pages. They all had interesting titles. I would pick them up at the library, as I was browsing for other books, and read a story or two, standing, before I went on.