One reads books in order to gain the privilege of living more than one
life. People who don't read are trapped in a mine shaft, even if they
think the sun is shining. Most New Yorkers wouldn't travel to Minnesota
if a bright star shone in the west and hosts of angels were handing out
plane tickets, but they might read a book about Minnesota and thereby
form some interesting and useful impression of us. This is the benefit
of literacy. Life is lonely; it is less so if one reads.