I appreciated this interview with Marilynne Robinson, and in particular this story she shared:
"In 'Freedom of Thought,' you write that, although you can't say why
fiction is necessary, it is indisputable that people crave it. When
have you seen fiction meet a deep need within an individual reader?
"Well, often people meet you very briefly, and they say—"your book
changed my life." I think writers get that comment pretty often. And
it's very moving think that people do actually navigate by books, that
books can have that kind of impact.
"Once I went to woman's prison in Pocatello, Idaho. I read some, and
we talked some, and when I was leaving one of the women said, "Tell your
students to write good books. They're all we live for." [Pauses.] You
know? It's so easy to forget how important books are, partly because I'm
someone like me: I'm practically drowning in books. My house is
groaning with books. But then you realize that they're really bread to people who absolutely need then."