To be able to read is to be given a key that opens the world to you. Suddenly you can read the thoughts of people who are long dead or are much farther away from you than the next block, street, town or nation. Reading allows the spread of ideas. And just like artwork, reading can jump across national boundaries to affect people in far distant areas. If something written is allowed to spread, it can affect the future in ways unknown to us. So when we, as authors, take up our pens or keyboards, we have the potential to affect the life of people who haven't even been born yet. That's a heavy responsibility.
I've been reading a lot of books lately, mostly romance and mystery (don't groan...I have my reasons). But I've also downloaded recommendations from others and have had my world expanded because of those recommendations. I've learned more about English humor and early/mid 20th century culture from the William books that Linda Hoyland recommended to me, I've explored the world of erotic literature by reading the Adrian English series by Josh Lanyon and the PsyCop series by Jordan Castillo Price, and I've also read more pedestrian works. I'm returning to reading fan fiction because that's a great love of mine that I don't think will ever end. Books were my first treasure and I think will probably be my last one as well. Thanks to all of the authors I've met and have yet to meet in my journey through life.