A mission statement from authors including Jeanette Winterson, Zadie Smith, and Mark Haddon, about the transformative power of reading: the way it inspires us, the tangible impact it can have on our wellbeing, and the importance it holds for us now and will continue to hold in the futureIn any 24 hours there might be sleeping, eating, kids, parents, friends, lovers, work, school, travel, deadlines, emails, phone calls, Facebook, Twitter, the news, the TV, Playstation, music, movies, sport, responsibilities, passions, desires, dreams—why should anyone stop what they're doing and read a book? This book provides the much-needed answers. These essays explain that people have always needed stories. We need literature—novels, poetry—because we need to make sense of our lives, test our depths, understand our joys, and discover what humans are capable of. Great books can provide companionship when we are lonely, or peacefulness in the midst of an overcrowded daily life. Reading provides a unique kind of pleasure and no one should live without it. In the 10 essays in this book some of our finest authors and passionate advocates from the worlds of science, publishing, technology, and social enterprise tell us about the experience of reading, why access to books should never be taken for granted, how reading transforms our brains, and how literature can save lives. In any 24 hours there are so many demands on your time and attention—this collection is full of passionate arguments why you should make books one of them.