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.
The ham radiating stinky spoilage made a big impression on me. I remember very closely examining any ham I was served, wondering if it was covered in bacteria. This put me off drinking water for a bit, too. It never occurred to me that the gallons of cherry Koolaid I drank was just flavored tap water.