It would be difficult to find a person who would argue that reading is bad for a person, at least in the civilized parts of the world. I know there are parts of planet Earth where certain persons prefer the population remain illiterate and ignorant. But most people know that reading is a good thing.
Most parents know they should read to their children from an early age, perhaps even before birth. Some studies say it doesn't even matter that much what you read to them. As children get older and become full grown adults in love with reading, they select what they want to read. The benefits are life-long. I came across, thanks to an RWA newsletter, another side benefit of reading.
This results of this study, published in The Atlantic, link what people read with their social abilities. Things such as skills in reading emotions in other people and sensitivity to other people are linked to what they read. Readers of fiction are more emotionally sensitive than readers of nonfiction and readers of romance are the most likely to read other people correctly.
The study does pose the question of the chicken and the egg. Do sensitive people read more fiction or romance, or do they become more sensitive because they read fiction?
What do you think, chicken or egg? Did your parents read to you or did you read to your children? Do you agree with The Atlantic?