The book is about how useful and enjoyable reading can be. There is no other skill that broadens our horizon and develops our imagination. Psychologists have proved that reading about events affects our neurological system exactly in the same way as if we were experiencing them, as well as teaching us to sympathize with characters.
Anatole France used to joke that one shouldn’t lend out one’s books because they are never returned. He added that the books he had in his library were those he had borrowed. Descartes pointed out that reading a good book was like talking to the best people of the past while they only shared their best thoughts with you.
The Year’s Best Essays/Documentary Prose