This is one for my wishlist. Ex Libris. 100+ Books to Read and Reread By Michiko Kakutani.
In it, Kakutani critiques a long list of books that she feels are worth reading and rereading. And I guess she would know - she was formerly the chief book critic for The New York Times, and has won a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. What shocked me is how few of these books I have read.
As to why we love books so much, this is what she has to say:
These magical brick-sized objects—made of paper, ink, glue, thread, cardboard, fabric, or leather—are actually tiny time machines that can transport us back to the past to learn the lessons of history, and forward to idealized or dystopian futures. Books can transport us to distant parts of the globe and even more distant planets and universes. They give us the stories of men and women we will never meet in person, illuminate the discoveries made by great minds, and allow us access to the wisdom of earlier generations. They can teach us about astronomy, physics, botany, and chemistry; explicate the dynamics of space flight and climate change; introduce us to beliefs, ideas, and literatures different from our own. And they can whisk us off to fictional realms like Oz and Middle-earth, Narnia and Wonderland, and the place where Max becomes king of the wild things.
Image from HERE.