In books I have traveled, not only to other worlds, but into my own. I learned who I was and who I wanted to be, what I might aspire to, and what I might dare to dream about my world and myself. More powerfully and persuasively than from the “shalt nots” of the Ten Commandments, I learned the difference between good and evil, right and wrong. One of my favorite childhood books, A Wrinkle in Time, described that evil, that wrong, existing in a different dimension from our own. But I felt that I, too, existed much of the time in a different dimension from everyone else I knew. There was waking and there was sleeping. And then there were books, a kind of parallel universe in which anything might happen and frequent universe in which I might be a newcomer but was never really a stranger. My real, true world. My perfect island.
-Anna Quindlen, How Reading Changed My Life (1998)