I read, but without purpose or involvement. I read stray sentences, from the books that I had always meant to read. Often these sentences seemed so satisfying to me, or so elusive and lovely, that I could not help abandoning all the surrounding words and giving myself up to a peculiar state. I was alert and dreamy, closed off from all particular people, but conscious all the time of the city itself – which seemed a strange place.
Alice Munro in Carried Away: A Selection of Stories