Psst! Want to learn about how the world really works? Forget those dry factual tomes and pick up a novel instead!
Researchers from Manchester University and the London School of Economics have found that fiction writers are just as effective academics and policy researchers in communicating the world's problems, Hermione Hoby discovers in the Guardian.
You can read the whole report named (somewhat ambiguously, as Hoby points out) The Fiction of Development: Literary Representation as a Source of Authoritative Knowledge here.
So here's something else you can say when someone starts grouching about your out of control reading habit : "Go away! I'm developing my social conscience!"
But then, we already know that fiction readers are better people.