I was reading the Simple Dollar’s Ten Books That Changed My Life #8: How to Win Friends and Influence People when I came to the realization that books–wondrous books–fire more than our imagination: they can give you the preview of an experience.
Let me clarify. How many times have you browsed the shelves of a library looking for that special bit of self-help info you’re too afraid to ask a living soul because it’s too embarrassing/silly/dangerous/punishable in 13 states? A book, that impersonal but oh so satisfying vessel of knowledge, can fill in enough details to give you a pretty good idea what to expect when the time comes. Or at least give you enough information to prepare you for the real thing. Books are manuals for personal improvement (nods to Mr. Carnegie), repositories of useful trivia, escapist ventures, and great oracles for things not yet experienced.
I’m sure you could name hundreds more reasons why books are great, but reading that article reminded me of it.