Girls Write Out
Sunday, June 10, 2012
I know I'm in good company when I say I love to read. Give me a good book and a few free hours, and I'm one happy woman. I couldn't guess how many books I've read, but I'm sure the number's in the thousands. You too?

Lately I've been thinking that all that reading, all that time spent in characters' points of view must have benefits beyond a few hours well spent.

I'm not talking about the spiritual benefit of Christian fiction--though I've certainly experienced that. Rather I'm wondering if voracious fiction reading improves certain life skills, especially relational skills. I haven't done any studies, this is just something I see developing in my own life, and it has me wondering.

Do you think reading can make you more compassionate? More intuitive? More reflective? Better at decision making? Have you noticed any changes in yourself that you attribute to hours of novel reading?
Denise Hunter  
posted at 9:21 PM  
  Comments (8)
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At 9:04 AM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

Reading fiction has made me a little more compassionate. I take the time (mostly) to step into their shoes before I jump to a conclusion. ;o)

At 10:18 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

I'm an avid reader and always have been. People often remark on my empathy and I really do think it's from putting myself in someone else's shoes in book after book. Here's a study that talks about the impact of novels on empathy.

Great post, D!

At 12:52 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

I'm an avid reader, but I read more non-fiction, which I know is strange. However, I love reading autobiographies and the way people see the world. I love knowing different points of view and how they come to be.

No one believes what they belief without a reason, and I am fascinated by that reason. I'm definitely more compassionate from reading, but also from watching good people, suffer.

At 2:07 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Good points. And interesting article, C. I am fascinated by how people become the way they are. This makes characterization interesting.

At 3:02 PM, Blogger Jackie S. said...

I love to read....mostly Christian fiction....70 so far this year! I agree with Ane that it makes me a little more compassionate!

At 4:07 PM, Blogger jel said...

I read to get away! :)

At 4:53 PM, Blogger Mary-Louise said...

What a great blog; it raises some interesting questions.

One of the things I think I have learned from reading is to think before making decisions. As I'm reading I'm constantly analyzing whether what the characters are doing is beneficial or not. I sure wouldn't want to end up in some of the places these characters do as a result of their decisions or lack of willingness to change.

Jesus used stories to illustrate points, and we're given an opportunity to learn.

The only problem that remains is, where to get the cash to support the much to read, so little time...

At 9:55 AM, Blogger Mary F. Allen said...

There was a study done by a university on this and it is true. Fiction readers have a greater capacity for compassion. They assume it's because they experience vicariously other people's emotions.

Personally, fiction has taught me many valuable life lessons and given me "family" to draw upon for information and affirmation.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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