Reading, for me, is entertainment and an escape from the real world. But it can also inform and stretch the boundaries of the life I live.
Well, it didn't take long for me to see why everyone points out that Lovecraft was a racist. However, I'm certainly expanding my vocabulary:
Antediluvian: "the time period referred to in the Bible between the fall of humans and the Noachian Deluge (the Genesis Flood) in the biblical cosmology. ... The term found its way into early geology and lingered in science until the late Victorian era. Colloquially, the term is used to refer to any ancient and murky period."
Nepenthe: "fictional medicine for sorrow, literally an anti-depressant. ... In the Odyssey... nepenthes pharmakon (i.e. an anti-sorrow drug) is a magical potion given to Helen by Polydamna the wife of the noble Egyptian Thon; it quells all sorrows with forgetfulness."