Niccolo Machiavelli on the Pleasures of Reading

In 1513, Niccolo Machiavelli explains the pleasures of reading:

“When evening has come, I return to my house and go into the study. At the door I take off my clothes of the day, covered with mud and mire, and I put on my regal and courtly garments; and decently reclothed, I enter the ancient courts of ancient men, where, received by them lovingly, I feed on the food that alone is mine and that I was born for. There I am not ashamed to speak with them and to ask them the reason for their actions; and they in their humanity reply to me. And for the space of four hours I feel no boredom, I forget every pain, I do not fear poverty, death does not frighten me.” -from The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction by Alan Jacobs, 50-51.