Mark Twain once shrewdly observed that a person who chooses not to read has no advantage over a person who is unable to read. In industrialized societies today, however, the question is not who reads, because nearly everyone can and does, but what is read. Why should anyone spend precious time with literature when there is so much reading material available that provides useful information about everything from daily news to personal computers? Why should a literary artist’s imagination compete for attention that could be spent on the firm realities that constitute everyday life?
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