From his wonderful book, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain (Random House, 2021)
Reading fiction changes the state of our minds for a short time afterward. . . . So, we might ask, how are we altered in that ‘short time afterward’? . . .
I am reminded that my mind is not the only mind.
I feel an increased confidence in my ability to imagine the experiences of other people and accept these as valid.
I feel I exist on a continuum with other people: what is in them is in me and vice versa.
My capacity for language is reenergized. My internal language (the language in which I think) gets richer, more specific and adroit.
I find myself liking the world more, taking more loving notice of it (this is related to that reenergization of my language).
I feel luckier to be here and more aware that someday I won’t be.
I feel more aware of the things of the world and more interested in them.
Most of that applies to other art forms, too.