Read novels, make a better world

“While each of us only gets one life, and one span of time in which to live it, reading allows us to enter the lives of other people living in other spans of time.

One can often understand more about these fictional characters with all their hidden thoughts laid bare on the page than many of the flesh and blood people with whom we spend real time, because real people usually don’t confess all their hopes and motivations and secrets the way literary figures do.

When you read a novel, you do feel while you’re reading it that you’re almost living another life.

I’ve wondered myself, many times, whether the world might not be different if more people read more novels. Privately, I’ve thought a few novels might do rigid and judgmental folks a world of good. It’s harder to hate and judge people when you understand them.

People are generally more accepting of those of other races and lifestyles once they get to know a few such people. I think the same process is possible with novels.”


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