Fiction Readers Make Better Friends

My friend Olga shared with me this fascinating article: Science Shows Something Surprising About People Who Still Read Fiction

“Fiction readers make great friends as they tend to be more aware of others’ emotions.”

The article notes that it’s not just any fiction that will make you a better friend:

Literary fiction enhanced participants’ empathy because they had to work harder at fleshing out the characters. The process of trying to understand what those characters are feelings and the motives behind them is the same in our relationships with other people.

Exactly! That is why I almost always have a Dickens or Trollope novel on my nightstand (and on my Audible app). Now, if someone interrupts me when I’m in the middle of a chapter, I can oh so politely reply, “Go away – I’m developing my empathy.”

But I must admit I’m a little puzzled by the  word “still” in the title – is it all that odd to read fiction?

Read the entire article here.

Reading by José Ferraz de Almeida Júnior 1892

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