This made me smile. An encouragement to read, a worthwhile project I think. I keep meaning to reinstate myself as a volunteer at the local primary school, to help young learners with their reading skills. On my to-do list definitely. Without the ability to read, we really are up against it, the world growing in complexity and technology as these letters form. It is a fast paced world, and what books can help us to do is SLOW DOWN! I am not a particular fan of the self-help genre that is threatening to define literature in a particularly damaging way, nor of the misery memoir. What I love is the ability of literature to entrance, thrill, shock and challenge existing perspective. The genre of the novel does this by lying to us, it dissembles reality and creates a virtual reality, where we can become acquainted with landscapes, villains, heroes, and situations as unlike our everyday as can be imagined. This flight of the imagination that we take allows us to test ourselves against perameters erstwhile unknown to us personally. It frees us from our ego, and allows abandonment. And that is why reading books will never die. It performs the same function of drugs, and sex, we escape ourselves temporarily, and goes beyond that. It affects our behaviours and our thought processes, it develops us in a way that a self-help manual struggles to do. A novelist is a fantasist, sharing a new world, and we commit ourselves to that world for the duration. Sometimes we put the book down, disappointed, uninspired. Sometimes we devour the fantasies like breakfast cereal, hungrily, satisfying the overnight fast, but not assuaging the real hunger, which looks for engagement. And when we find that engagement, we are transformed. Literally transformed. Books change lives. You are not only what you eat, you are what you read. Read knowingly, and with insight and the world will be forever interesting to you, sparkling and changing in the way sunlight moves on water.