I open with that because what I’m about to say may come across as biased.
Read. More. Fiction.
As it turns out, though, I’m not biased (well, maybe a little bit). In the November issue of Scientific American, author and researcher Keith Oatley describes what reading fiction does for our minds and souls:
1. Reading stories can fine-tune your social skills by helping you better understand other human beings.
2. Entering imagined worlds builds empathy and improves your ability to take another person’s point of view.
3. A love affair with narrative may gradually alter your personality—in some cases, making you more open to new experiences and more socially aware.
You can’t read the entire article unless you subscribe, but that’s the gist of what it says.
I run a PR firm so, of course, it makes sense for us to require our team read everything from news and blogs to fiction and poetry. And it’s one of the questions we ask during interviews.