There was an inscription over the door to the library at Thebes: “Medicine for the soul.” Which is all very nice and makes us bibliophiles feel as though we are doing a public service when we recommend a book to someone who says they have nothing to read. (Be cautious whom you voice such a sentiment around—I have been known to create a numbered list of titles for the hapless individual who says they’re looking for books to read, along with which ones I own and could lend to them.)
But even the most benign medicine can be misused. It’s very tempting to use reading as only an anaesthetic instead of also as an invigorating agent. I should be more aware of which I’m doing.