"I can hardly conceive how limited my perception would be without the books I have been privileged to read, how superficial my understanding of others, how undeveloped my sympathies. And I mean here, especially, without fiction, which puts flesh and blood on, and the soul and feeling in, other human beings. Precisely because if its appeal to my imagination, which Webster's dictionary defines as 'the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality,' in fiction I come to know and understand people I may not have met otherwise. And thus I am persuaded to a more compassionate, generous, and loving response in my life beyond books."
~ Nancy M. Malone, from Walking a Literary Labyrinth