To the question is literature worthwhile I must answer with another question, Is this a fair topic to be answering? Yes of course literature is worthwhile, it improves the quality of life; it gives us a place to free of reality, being lost in a book. Literature is what separates the man from the beast. With literature came knowledge, it is how knowledge is passed on. Through knowledge a society is born, thus improving the quality of life.
How does one define quality of life, going from living in the gutter to a palace . Or is it going from being a dull person of routine to becoming alive with story and poetry and become enriched with beautiful writing . Well you can see instantly that it is the latter, "quality of life" should maybe be written as "enlightenment".
If you take the meaning of literature to be "printed matter" which is a definition taken from the oxford dictionary, then literature is a foundation of society.
Where would we be without printed matter, it is not pleasant to think about, no newspapers, novels, Shakespeare, textbooks (that's worth thinking about); as you can see just a thing like literature can give or take away all of these things, I'm sure you can think of many more things that matter to you that involve literature in one way or another but its easy to overlook literature in that sense of the word. Another dictionary definition is "writings that express emotional effect" this is a much more specific definition that immediately turns you towards Shakespeare, who was a master at creating this kind of literature; performed literature in his case, emotion is fundamental to literature in Shakespeare's sense of the term. His literature improved the quality of peoples life for hundreds of years...