I have 800 books of just Samuel Beckett's work, tons of his correspondence, personal letters that he wrote. I have copies of plays he used when he directed, so all of his handwritten notes are in the corners of the page.
Jane Austen is at the end of the line that begins with Samuel Richardson, which takes wonder and magic out of the novel, treats not the past but the present.
Samuel Johnson called it the vanity of human wishes, and Buddhists talk about the endless cycle of desire. Social psychologists say we get trapped on a hedonic treadmill. What they all mean is that we wish, plan and work for things that we think will make us happy, but when we finally get them, we aren't nearly as happy as we thought we'd be.
To go back and read Swift and Defoe and Samuel Johnson and Smollett and Pope - all those people we had to read in college English courses - to read them now is to have one of the infinite pleasures in life.