In Defense of Reading Fiction 102. Formative.


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Last time I discussed how readers live longer. Now we’ll explore how reading helps us think better. This isn’t scientific; it’s how I feel, supported by a few friendly references. It may not work for you.

Reading fiction explores situations which normal people may never or haven’t yet encountered. It projects the reader into cultures, times, events, conditions which the reader hasn’t yet or can’t possible experience. Not just adventure, science fiction or fantasy, but social and ethical situations.

More than absorbing factual information, readers learn to discern. They develop their powers of insight and discrimination. Reading books where a main character such as themselves tries to fit into society or determine the intentions of others form skills for actually living life. Admittedly, some novels will lead the reader astray. But an intelligent reader quickly learns Continue reading