I read for the moments when I can say, "Yes, that's exactly how the world is, but I never thought about it before!" And for the moments when I say, "Yes, that's what I've always said to myself, but didn't know if anyone else felt the same way!" And for the moments when I say, "I had no idea what that experience was like, but now I'm glad I have seen into someone else's world." And for the times when I say, "No, the world isn't like that!" and mentally argue with the author.
All of it lifts me. Which experience I go for depends on what mood I'm in, what I need at the moment: education, comfort, escape, reassurance, stretching, challenge. In this season of thankfulness, I'm thankful there are so many books, and I'm grateful I've been able to contribute to the conversation in whatever small way.