By now you know that we believe that if you Read Every Day you will Lead a Better Life. Personally I believe reading absolutely anything will improve your life but as I talk to some people, they tell me that they read but that they are absolutely too busy to read fiction. They read newspapers, trade magazines, blogs, and news websites. They feel that they are spending their time wisely because they are reading things that will help them in their professional lives. Again, that’s great. You won’t ever see me ever complain about anyone reading!
But there may just be a flaw in their plan.
A very interesting article came out from Ragan’s PR Daily a few days back entitled PR firm owner: Reading fiction helps your career. Now, that’s a headline that will get your attention. The article sites a study that says that by reading fiction a person can improve their social skills including increased empathy and the ability to take another person’s point of view. According to the author of the article Gini Dietrich, “Emotional intelligence is forged in many ways, including by reading fiction. Just like anything else, we have to work our minds—for leadership skills, for managing profits, and for working better with our human capital.” She talks about how in interviews she will ask perspective employees what type of fiction that they read because it gives her an idea of the type of writing that they will be able to produce.
If reading nonfiction connects you to the world around you, then perhaps reading fiction connects you to the world inside of you. Fiction can give you experiences that you never would have otherwise. Never have I lived in New York in the 1950’s, feeling trapped by my feeling and obligations, but having read Judy Blundell’s Strings Attached, I have experienced those emotions. Never will I be stranded on a desert island with my fellow beauty pageant contestants, but through Beauty Queens by Libba Bray I have. Yes, that last example was a bit out there but you get my point. The more experiences that you have both real and fiction, the more you are expanded to meet the world…and who knows, it might just help your career.
But that’s just what I think, what do you think? Do you feel that reading fiction opens you up to new experiences? Do you think that reading fiction increases your social skills? Is there a favorite book or type of book that helps you to unwind after work? Let us know in the comments!