I’ve mentioned before here that I don’t read a lot of fiction. The other day I was talking to someone who gave me a very good reason for reading fiction. The person commented that reading fiction takes your mind off your own problems and makes you think about someone else’s problems for a while. In my experience I have found this to be true.

Although fiction is not true, it is usually based on someone’s experience and therefore could be true. Fiction deals with real problems and issues that are going on people’s lives, even if they are set in imaginary worlds. This is why people relate to these stories the way they do. So it is worthwhile spending time reading and thinking about these things. We may even find that our problems seem small in comparison.

In a world where it is easy to become self-absorbed perhaps reading fiction could be a simple way of encouraging us to become more other centred.