I've always pushed my belief that reading of all sorts (as long as it's a diverse list) grants a certain reinforcement of knowledge and likely shapes one's language abilities as well as one's values and perspectives.
After just having read Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being, I'm surprised to come upon the title phrase twice within the last couple of days. Once, in Yann Martel's Life of Pi:
And somewhere in my surfing today as a reference to Sarah Palin (I honestly can't find the link or remember which article made the statement).
What would the words "unbearable lightness of being" mean to me had I not read Kundera? It surely has clarified the statements by having read the book. Would I have just "read over" the words? Would I have assigned a meaning not quite as acute?