Just ran across a quote:
Like dreaming, reading performs the prodigious task of carrying us off to other worlds. But reading is not dreaming because books, unlike dreams, are subject to our will: they envelop us in alternative realities only because we give them explicit permission to do so. Books are the dreams we would most like to have, and, like dreams, they have the power to change consciousness, turning sadness to laughter and anxious introspection to the relaxed contemplation of some other time and place. --- Victor Null, South African educator, psychologist in Introduction to Lost in a Book: The Psychology of Reading for Pleasure, Yale University Press (1988).You can read an article based on the main thesis of the above book here (pdf).