If you are here, you already know the value of classic literature, but now science has found a rationale for choosing Dickens over Grisham.

A study by researchers based in New York City suggests that reading literature enhances one’s ability to empathize with others.  Literature, which tends to contain more complex, unpredictable and incomprehensible characters, teaches readers to expect and accept a wider range of behaviour and perspectives.

Study participants who read either popular fiction or nothing at all did not demonstrate the same capacity for empathy. It is interesting to consider, though, that much of classic literature, such as Dickens, was once popular….