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I mentioned early in this book the kind of rereading distinctive of a fan the Tolkien addict, say, or the devotee of Jane Austen or Trollope or the Harry Potter books. The return to such books is often motivated by a desire to dwell for a time in a self-contained fictional universe, with its own boundaries and its own rules. (It is a moot question whether Austen and Trollopes first readers were drawn to their novels for these reasons, but their readers today often are.) Such rereading is not purely a matter of escapism, even though that is one reason for its attraction: we should note that its not what readers are escaping from but that they are escaping into that counts most. Most of us do not find fictional worlds appealing because we find our own lives despicable, though censorious people often make that assumption. Auden once wrote that "there must always be ... escape-art, for man needs escape as he needs food and deep sleep." The sleeper does not disdain consciousness.
— Alan Jacobs —

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