Here is a passage from Timequake, that explains exactly why good literature and good art are important:
Many people need desperately to receive this message: “I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people don’t care about them. You are not alone.”
I know I need this message, and every time, and in every form that I find it, I feel like I’ve discovered a treasure.
I hope someday that I can send it out too.