As readers, we are seldom interested in the fine sentiments of a lesson learnt; we seldom care about the good manners of morals. Repentance puts an end to conversation; forgiveness becomes the stuff of moralistic tracts. Revenge - bloodthirsty, justice-hungry revenge - is the very essence of romance, lying at the heart of much of the best fiction.
Books may not change our suffering, books may not protect us from evil, books may not tell us what is good or what is beautiful, and they will certainly not shield us from the common fate of the grave. But books grant us myriad possibilities: the possibility of change, the possibility of illumination.
We can imagine the books we'd like to read, even if they have not yet been written, and we can imagine libraries full of books we would like to possess, even if they are well beyond our reach, because we enjoy dreaming up a library that reflects every one of our interests and every one of our foibles--a library that, in its variety and complexity, fully reflects the reader we are.