Daphne Gray-Grant, the author of 8.5 Steps to Writing Faster, Better, tweeted about a recent article on the benefits of reading fiction from the New Scientist. The article describes experiments done at the University of Toronto that provide some evidence of increased empathy by fiction readers.
Makes sense. Identifying with a fictional character requires the ability to see the world from his or her point of view. I thought the design of the research was interesting. So was the conclusion that empathy may also come from identifying with characters in movies and video games. I can’t see playing Grand Theft Auto helping a kid develop empathy, but it’s probably because I’m old.
Nevertheless, I’m glad to find evidence that reading fiction is good for you. (If you are looking for a good young adult novel to read with your 7th or 8th grader, try Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli.)
Eric Anderson is a English Tutor in Tampa, Florida. Naturally, he thinks reading is good for you. If your son or daughter needs help with English, history, essay writing, English grammar, or reading, call Eric at 813.787.8959.