If you’ve ever encountered raised eyebrows or rolling eyes whenever you mention that you enjoy reading literary classics, help is at hand via New York writer Jamie Leigh. Not only will reading these books improve your vocabulary and your brain power, they’ll help you deepen your understanding of human nature, history and culture.
Her blog article 10 reasons you should read the classics, uses some familiar – but no less valid – arguments in favour of tackling the greats. One point that caught my attention was her argument that reading Dostoevsky and co will improve your social skills.
According to a 2013 study she tracked down, reading the works of these authors – in preference to ‘popular’ fiction and even non-fiction—leads to better social perception and emotional intelligence. Character-driven novels can even strengthen your personal ethics.
Next time some unkind person accuses you of wasting your time by reading all those fusty guys, you can take great delight in pointing out how you’re simply learning to be more empathetic and socially astute. That should shut them up a little don’t you think?