@neilhimself explains why we read fiction

Neil Gaiman:

Back in the 17th century, back when poisoning used to happen a lot more than it happens now, people would ingest poisons regularly in tiny amounts to build up immunity, so that if someone tried to poison them, they would be O.K.

Fiction allows us to go safely behind other eyes and allows us to look out at the world. We take our little bits of poison and safely ingest them, so when the real thing happens, we’re prepared.