"A book is the product of a different self from the one we manifest in our habits, our social life and our vices."
"It seems that the taste for books grows with intelligence, a little below it but on the same stem, as every passion is accomplished by a predilection for that which surrounds its object, which has an affinity for it, which in its absence still speaks of it. So, the great writers, during those hours when they are not in direct communication with their thought, delight in the society of books. Besides, is it not chiefly for them that they have been written; do they not disclose to them a thousand beauties, which remain hidden to the masses?" (Proust in Reading in Bed)
"For a long time I used to go to bed early. Sometimes, when I had put out my candle, my eyes would close so quickly that I had not even time to say to myself: "I'm falling asleep. And half an hour later the thought that it was time to go to sleep would awaken me; I would make as if to put away the book which I imagined was still in my hands, and to blow out the light; I had gone on thinking, while I was asleep, about what I had just been reading, but these thoughts had taken a rather peculiar turn; it seemed to me that I myself was the immediate subject of my book: a church, a quartet, the rivalry between François I and Charles V."
Proust is generally considered a pioneer of the modern novel. He made a clear distinction between man and work. The writer is a man of intuition. - quoted from Books and Writers.