I’m not naïve enough to argue that writing or reading fiction necessarily makes someone a better person—I know too many misanthropic, narcissistic, and otherwise badly behaved writers to argue that—but good fiction does push us to imagine in detail what it might be like to live another life. As many have noted, we think we’re assholes because we’ve had a bad day and other people are assholes because they’re assholes. Fiction can change that setting, at least sometimes. That said, I worry that segregation by worldview also happens with books. Some readers seek only characters they can “relate to” and books that confirm rather than unsettle their beliefs. For that reason and others, I would not wish for everyone in the world to read the same books. Not even my favorites.
— Elise Blackwell