Jack Gantos is going to talk about writing.
Whenever he has a moment of crisis, thinking "Why am I writing books," he goes back to his experience being a reader. He says he's a slow reader, really reading between the lines. When he finishes the book, he puts the book on the floor, and waits. He closes his eyes and the entire book begins to come back--characters, plot, setting, resolution, how the characters are effected by the change. As that character changed, he knew he had changed. He readers are infected by literature. And it's so wonderful that those of us who love books so thoroughly can just pull them out and relive them.
It's in moment like these, he says, that you realize you really, thoroughly, completely love books and that's why you want to become a writer.