Yes. Yes, it does.
Study Links Reading Fiction to Better Performance on Empathy and Social Acumen Tests
“When we read about other people, we can imagine ourselves into their position and we can imagine it’s like being that person,” one of the studies organizers said. “That enables us to better understand people, better cooperate with them.”
“[It’s like] being in a flight simulator: ‘You experience a lot of situations in a short span of time,’ [a cognitive psychologist involved in the study] said, far more so than if we went about our lives waiting for those experiences to come to us.”
You can click here for the whole article.
There you are, conclusive proof that going to the library can not only help make you a better informed and better educated person, but make you a better person period. Indirectly, at least.
And don’t worry if you’re not a reader – it turns out is doesn’t actually have to be a book. It seems that: “This phenomenon is probably form neutral — studies of people viewing dramatic television shows, or playing immersive, narrative video games, found that they had the same effect as reading literature.” And we’ve got those too.