It can make us more empathetic.
A study indicated “that reading fiction can increase reader empathy, social skills, and inter-personal understandings (known as ‘theory of mind’).”
It provides us with a healthy escape.
“With a film or TV show, you’re given the visuals whereas with a novel you’re inventing them yourself, so it’s actually much more of a powerful event, because you’re involved…”
It gives us an opportunity to identify with others in similar circumstances.
“…there are now more and more young adult novels which can help teenagers by addressing head-on the issues they may be dealing with in their day-to-day lives, from bullying to drugs to transgender issues and social exclusion….”
More on the subject:
“Can Reading Books Improve Your Mental Health?” (Psychology Today, May 2019)
“Can Fiction Really Improve Your Mental Health” (BBC, May 2019)
“Reading Fiction Improves Brain Connectivity and Function” (Psychology Today, January 2014)
“Novel Finding: Reading Literary Fiction Improves Empathy” (Scientific American, October 2013)