Not only that, but there is a lot of research to suggest that reading fiction helps develop empathy and understanding.
It is strange to me how many people don’t read fiction here, but maybe that’s a part of the journey we are all on. When you start cutting down on one form of “entertainment” like web surfing, it’s probably natural to apply the same kind of thinking to other forms of entertainment. I know I am guilty of that with music, which I don’t listen to much at all at the moment. Having said that, I think there is a world of difference between surfing Reddit for six hours straight and reading fiction for six hours. To paraphrase something I read once and can’t remember the source of: no one has ever stood in a library and suffered from information overload because of all the books.
Reading books, fiction or non-fiction, is also an excellent way of rebuilding the attention muscles that constant web surfing have wrecked. In a way, it’s a form of meditation to be able to focus on one narrative for an extended period of time. Not to mention, the thrill of getting lost in a good book.
Anyway, sorry, rant over. I would just hate for people to miss out on the thrill of reading fiction because they feel it’s detrimental to their development. To get back on subject, I am currently reading The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal.