Via the medium of daydreams we can be valiant princesses escaping dragons, the First Barbie In Space or a mermaid, lying face down in the bath and being brave enough to open our eyes.
We can gallop through the plains near the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales with the Silver Brumby. We can go Borrowing with Arietty. We can have midnight feasts with the Middles of the Tyrolean era Chalet School; we can go on the Great Rumble Hunt down the River Wandle with the Borribles.
We can endure the fear, anxiety and exhilaration of going through adolescence in the Secret Annexe with Anne Frank. We can experience the trauma of marrying a man who despises you with Antoinette (Bertha) Rochester, and the agony of unrequited love with Jane Eyre.
We can imagine living through the Second World War in Poland separated from your parents with Ruth, Edek, Bronia and Jan, and their Silver Sword, learning that suffering doesn’t necessarily make you good.
We can daydream about the terror and tedium of living as the prisoner of war of the Japanese, witnessing the crucifixion of the man you love, and the kindness of Muslim villagers in A Town Called Alice.
Reading leads to daydreams. Daydreams help you live other lives, and empathy. Empathy helps you understand that your world view and experiences are not universal. We need daydreamers.