It’s easy enough to assert that books “make a difference” — now Alain de Botton has gone a step further to explain how:
One effect of writing . . . is that, once readers have put the book down and resumed their own lives, they may attend to precisely the things that the author would have responded to had he or she been in their company.
Thanks to a book, their minds will be like a radar newly attuned to pick up certain objects floating through consciousness. The effect will be like bringing a radio into a room that we had thought silent, only to realize that the silence existed at a particular frequency and we, in fact, shared the room all along with waves of sound coming in from a Ukrainian station or the nighttime chatter of a minicab firm.
Have you ever experienced this by reading a novel?
What novel, and how did it affect you?