Man is characterized by a number of things – one of ’em is he is the only animal that knows he’s going to die someday. And knowing that he also has an obligation to make the most of whatever time he has. And making the most of it is enormously assisted by reading, by learning about the world. Learning about the past and the present and an ability to look to the future by reading.
— Shelby Foote (around minute 15 of video below)