Reading and Empathy

I heard a quote by George R. R. Martin this morning that got me thinking about a certain person I know who never reads.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies… The man who never reads lives only one.”

I wonder if people who don’t read have less empathy for people who are not a part of their circle then people who read a lot. It seems reasonable to think that if you are exposed to others, even with only words you develop more empathy with people you don’t know, people who are not like you.

I know for a fact that after reading Five Smooth Stones I became a different person. I’d not known anything about the civil rights movement other than what family members had to say.

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