I had to read this a number of times before I understood, but I think it is very insightful.
"The gift of reading, as I have called it, is not very common, nor very generally understood. It consists, first of all, in a vast intellectual endowment -- a free grace, I find I must call it -- by which a man rises to understand that he is not punctually right, nor those from whom he differs absolutely wrong. he may hold dogmas; he may hold them passionately; and he may know that others hold them but coldly, or hold them differently, or hold them not at all. Well, if he has the gift of reading, these others will be full of feet for him. They will see the other's side of propositions and the other side of virtues. He need not change his dogma for that but he may change his reading of that dogma, and he must supplement and correct his deductions from it.
A human truth, which is always very much a lie, hides as much of life as it displays. It is men who hold another truth, or, as it seems to us, perhaps a dangerous lie, who can extend our restricted field of knowledge, and rouse our consciences. Something that seems quite new, or that seems insolently false or very near dangerous, is the test of a reader. If he tries to see what it means, what truth it excuses, he has the gift, and let him read. If he is merely hurt, or offended, or exclaims upon his author's folly, he had better take to the daily papers; he will never be a reader."
Robert Louis Stevenson Photo by Jose A Gallego