Not that I need a reason for reading all the novels I do, but it’s still interesting to know there are added benefits beyond the imagination, excitement, travel, gripping plots, mental challenges, and adventure that fiction provides.
It’s Research Wednesday! Where I share the latest, or most fascinating, in the science of friendship.
“Over the past decade, academic researchers…from York University have gathered data indicating that fiction-reading activates neuronal pathways in the brain that measurably help the reader better understand real human emotion — improving his or her overall social skillfulness.” (“The Business Case for Reading Novels“; Harvard Business Review Blog Network, 1/12/2012)
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone (almost always a man) tell me that he doesn’t read fiction because he “can’t justify reading about something that didn’t happen.” Escaping into a novel feels like a luxurious indulgence, apparently, while reading non-fiction seems more educational and purposeful. Non-fiction, so the argument goes, will make you smarter, and that’s not necessarily the case for stories that are—gasp!—made up.
Despite being a writer of non-fiction, I love novels. I relish being…
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