So what does the research find? Andersen's anecdotal experience was that executive clients "who only read non-fiction tend to be somewhat more two-dimensional in their perceptions of others and of situations; they seem to have fewer options to call upon when making decisions or solving problems." Kreamer's review of the literature lead her to this statement: "fiction-reading activates neuronal pathways in the brain that measurably help the reader better understand real human emotion — improving his or her overall social skillfulness."
And what about Oately? He writes (PDF) that reading novels is more than mere entertainment. Rather, "novels, stories and dramas can help us understand the complexities of social life."
What are you waiting for? Grab some fiction!