There are pleasures to be had from books beyond being lightly entertained. There is the pleasure of being challenged; the pleasure of feeling one’s range and capacities expanding; the pleasure of entering into an unfamiliar world, and being lead into empathy with a consciousness very different from one’s own; the pleasure of knowing what others have already thought it worth knowing, and entering a larger conversation.
Even such an unmetaphorical-sounding word as the verb ‘to be’ was generated from a metaphor. It comes from the Sanskrit bhu, ‘to grow, or make grow,’ while the English forms ‘am’ and ‘is’ have evolved from the same root as the Sanskrit asmi, ‘to breathe.’ It is something of a lovely surprise that the irregular conjugation of our most nondescript verb is thus a record of a time when man had no independent word for ‘existence’ and could only say something ‘grows’ or that it ‘breathes.’
Julian Jaynes, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind (via thedailyetymology)