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Does reading fiction make us better people?

April 30, 2015


TBR March 2015 (600x800)

Does reading fiction make us better people? I was asked this question by Nigel Warburton for the excellent new debate forum at Aeon Ideas. I argued contrariwise, but I also loved Tony Bradman’s argument in favour.  I especially like his image of fiction as a flight simulator for the emotions.  Read it all here.

It seemed appropriate to illustrate this with my recent to-be-read pile . After taking the photo, I dismantled it, read some of them, put some on the shelf, took some back to the library, and left some to seed a new to-be-read pile.


  1. April 30, 2015

    It may or may not make us ‘better’ people – but it definitely changes us.
    Your book on Montaigne changed me. I sometimes write about how reading has made me the person I am


    • April 30, 2015

      Thank you for this and for the link to your very appealing blog!

      • April 30, 2015

        I even blogged about your wonderful book on Montaigne ages ago because I think EVERYONE would benefit from reading it! Thank you for introducing him to me in such an entertaining volume. He is now amongst my heroes. I have told everyone I know to read your book!! It is a treat, and a real accomplishment, so congratulations on it and on your success with it.

  2. November 25, 2015

    Reading fiction is known to have a very significant correlation with expanded vocabulary in school-age young people and this is shown to continue in later life.

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