Much worse than a smartphone zombie Credit: Alamy

I have been interested in the recent correspondence about the menace of people reading books while walking along the street, becoming so engrossed that they bump into each other – or into us innocent passers-by.

In my experience, it is the fiction addicts who are the worst.

I ve seen a man so enslaved by a biography of Napoleon that mothers with buggies were forced to swerve and, on one appalling occasion I watched as someone, distracted by William Hague s life of William Pitt, seriously inconvenienced a small child on a micro-scooter.

And of course they go on and on about their latest acquisition.

You see them in the local library with their noses stuck in some volume, ignoring the vibrant life all around them – the gossip, the pilates classes and kids drama groups.

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