It's probably a bad idea to ask how much anyone gets out of a book. ("None of us," writes Ned Rorem, "can ever know how even our closest friends hear music.") The question is especially complicated when applied to the young. I think of myself at nineteen reading Proust. What was going through my mind? Probably chiefly delight at the notion of myself reading Proust. When young, one does a great deal of reading that, if one is going to be among that small portion of people who go on to take books seriously, will have to be done again.
- Joseph Epstein