The chapter seems to be concentrating on what he calls the ‘reading state’ the reaction that a reader has to the actual process of reading.
“…it involves a change of state and inner orientation and if we contemplate the reading process in this light we can hardly get away from introducing the world soul (or something very like it) into the conversation”. Pg 80
Crucially he believes that process, the magic of reading starts off when you are a child. It is not said but the implicit implication of that is if a child knows nothing other than technology they will miss out on ever learning to reach the ‘reading state’.
“I would guess that most adults who are now devoted readers began at a young age, and that they formed a good part of their essential selves through interaction with books.” pg 84
Reading is about formulating the self and that is vital in adolescence in terms of shaping ambition and widening horizons. Post thirty reading offers a different experience but one as important.
“..there is a very special transformation that takes place when we read fiction that is not experienced in non-fiction. This transformation, or catalysing action, can be seen to play a vital part in what we might call, grandly, existential self-formation.”