The results of a Canadian university research team led by British psychologist Keith Oatley reveal that fiction readers are better at relationships.
"Reading about Darcy and Elizabeth or Hamlet or Harry Potter and the progress of their relationships and dilemmas gets you, the reader, practising how to understand others and how they think and behave."This is serious stuff. Not only should the research findings bring a glow to every bookworm's pale cheeks (we always knew we were nice people), it may also offer a formula for mending Cameron's Broken Society.
Imagine it. Novels could be on (free) prescription.
Three or four books a month perhaps, taken at will, and the patient could have a completely free choice from a wide selection.
Oh wait, we have that already - the libraries that are under threat in every corner of the country.
Proffesor Oatley's research is published in Such Stuff as Dreams - The Psychology of Fiction. He also happens to be a novelist himself...what were the chances of that?