I recently read an article on NPR News (http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/10/04/229190837/want-to-read-others-thoughts-try-reading-literary-fiction) about a study on the ability to infer the thoughts and feelings of others based on the kind of fiction one reads. Those who read more literary fiction tended to be more perceptive about reading “the mind in the eyes” when required to look at black-and-white photos of people.
It’s an interesting thought—that the ability to judge character may be influenced by your reading choices. Literary fiction is very character-driven. As a reader, you must observe what a character says and does and then render a decision about what is going on in their head. In popular fiction, characters are more stereotypical and there is less guesswork about motives and who is the good guy or bad guy.
So what do you think? Does reading literary fiction train you to be more perceptive about character in your day-to-day life? Do you enjoy reading literary fiction and why or why not?
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