This title offers a defense of the value of literature and suggests ways in which the problematic relationship between personal and academic reading may be overcome. "Why Literature?" offers a conception of the value of literary reading that demonstrates its importance for psychological and social wellbeing, and works out the implications of that conception for how we teach literature in universities. Claims for the value of reading literature have been made for millennia, but the critiques of contemporary literary theorists have muddied the waters. At the heart of this book is the distinction between reading for pleasure and academic reading. The imaginative engagement with texts that the former involves can be at odds with the context and expectations of the latter. In attempting to construct a conception of literary value resonant with the experiences of those who read for pleasure, this book asserts the importance of a place in literary education for what students experience when they read. It also proposes ways that the often problematic relationship between the personal and the academic can be overcome. "Why Literature?" draws on literary theory, psychoanalytic theory and literary pedagogy, and is also informed by Brun's own experience as a teacher.