"Whenever you read a novel, you cast a net. It is not possible to remember every book you read, forever. But that net catches something from every book, a line, a concept, a character, a world. Eventually, that net is full of marvelous things, the best of every book you've read, and if you're lucky, everything but the best has follen through into forgetfulness. I always look for what my net will catch in every book, what I will take with me to the next book, what I have learned or loved."
Catherynne M. Valente, in her introduction to Val/Orson