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.
I don't remember which of you recommended the Tolkien Professor podcasts and I'm too lazy to go back through all the Grim 10 Things posts to figure it out, but thank you thank you thank you! I'm wallowing in Tolkienish bliss listening to them all, and am inspired to revisit my audiobook series of Hobbit + LotR, read by the divine Rob Inglis. They were outrageously expensive when I bought the set, paying full retail price about a year before the first LotR movie was released, but absolutely worth it.