Being well read is also heralded for its liberal virtue of introducing new ideas and new perspectives. The premise here is that a person is incomplete to the degree which they haven't judged the ways and beliefs of others according to their own rational faculties. Thus, even if one goes around and around the library to ultimately find oneself back at their original ideological foundation, at least now it's "well grounded."
I suggest there is another sort of human experience which accomplishes the same thing as reading: traveling.
In a coffee shop yesterday, I saw on TV from the corner of my eye a building. It instantly and mysteriously grabbed my attention from other matters because I recognized this building! The volume was off and I didn't know what the program was about, but I knew it was about something familiar. A near-instantaneous process of memory began searching my archives of experience and presented me a picture. This picture--> Flooded with memories of sights and sounds and sensations and adventures, I remembered my travels in Portland, Oregon. That is where I took this picture, a picture of the building that was just on the television. And now I know where this TV program was filmed. As it continued showing a coffee cup, sack of beans, and latte art, I know what it's about. Even more, I understand it because I know the coffee culture of the Pacific Northwest quite well. Fond memories of happy days! Caught from a peripheral image of a place long left: The pleasure of allusion.
Along with the familiar places, a traveler reads foreign ideas. People in other places simply do things differently. Not all are created equal nor worthy of adoption by every wayfarer who wanders them by, but these concepts mid-westerners find so strange start to take a new form when considered in their native environment. I still sit sandaled sans-socks, but on cold and wet October mornings in Seattle, I admit that my toes were happy to wear SmartWool secured with straps.
So it seems we value traveling for the very same reasons we value reading: Each stretches us beyond our confines, broadens our horizons, and in the end, gives us something of which only we will ever know its value. T. S. Eliot said it so well: "The end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."
So a telepathic wink I send to you, dear reader: