The shadow life of reading begins even while we have the book in hand -- begins as soon as we move from the first sentence to the second and start up a memory context.... Here is the power, the seductiveness of the act: when we read, we create and then occupy a hitherto nonexistent interior locale.... No less exalting is the sensation of inner and outer worlds coinciding, going on simultaneously, or very nearly so. The awareness is enforced regularly. I am reading, caught up in my book, when the phone rings. I am shocked back into the room, forced to contend with some piece of business. Then, a moment later, I am back. I have jumped from one circuit to another. The book is there, waiting, like one of those rare dreams that I half-awaken from and then reenter.
- Sven Birkerts, The Gutenberg Elegies