"In her vision, there was usually a cup of tea on the table, and a burning cigarette in a flowered ashtray, not that she had ever really smoked. How could she explain how comforting this abiding image was to her? She saw herself being still and thinking. That was it; that was the fantasy. Although she did not know anyone that was a reader, although she'd spent her childhood watching television, and now Nick at Nite was often on until midnight in the Rider house, Laura wanted, in a dress that came to her ankles and in robin's-egg-blue high-heeled leather Mary Janes, to be an author."
"Holden Caulfield would have been fine on Prozac, and ditto for the Professor in his dusty old house, in the dreary Willa Cather novel that she had not been able to finish."
(about Jenna's husband)
"She liked to tell her friends, and on occasion her radio audience, how frightened Frank became if there wasn't printed matter near his person. Their car had once broken down, and for some unexplained - perhaps paranormal - reason, they'd had no reading material for the two hours they'd had to wait for rescue. Frank had almost gone mad. There had not even been the Saab manual. He sweated and he paced, reciting all the soliloquies that were his set pieces, roving through Othello, Lear, Merchant, Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It, Hamlet and a few sonnets as well."