Llosa argues that literature is essential to the "life of nations." In a time of ever greater specialization, he says, literature alone is able to synthesize disparate ideas and represent the whole of life. Literary language enriches the language of everyone, and enables ideas to be expressed with greater nuance and precision. Literature expresses themes that bind societies together; people bond through experiencing the same texts. Reading books, as opposed to screens, fosters a kind of sustained concentration that is beneficial and helps develop the imagination. In short, literature enlarges the mind in ways that no other intellectual pursuit can.
Llosa also touches on literature's ability to support the "critical mind." All great literature, he says, is seditious. It challenges preconceived notions, provides a way to imagine alternatives to social or political situations, or implores us to find refuge from "the impositions of this unjust life." He discusses several authors as examples, mentioning Cervantes, Borges, and Orwell.
Llosa's argument is that social change depends on imagining a better way, and that literature is the way such imaginings are articulated. It is by comparing our reality with the imagined realities in literature that we come to develop the "precious dissatisfaction" that is the impetus for making a better world.