It had been quite a while since I last read a novel; I recall it was my late university years. Although I didn't take any decision not to do so, it was probably a consequence of starting the work life and noticing I had so many other things to read - especially on Computer Science and Personal/Career Development topics. I needed to stay in the "real world".
Well, I said it had been a while, because all of a sudden, due to a reason which my memory won't allow me to pinpoint exact event that triggered it, I started reading Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. This is a completely different genre and not even a smooth transition from non-fiction, history or economics books I regularly read. Surprisingly though, I like it!
I noticed some patterns since 3 weeks, which I believe is related to reading a comedy sci-fi genre - either due to the fact that its a comedy sci-fi or a genre that is out of my routine.
The significant change was on creativity, or emerging of different ideas. I started noticing potential improvements for my daily life and possible development ideas. I usually had trouble finding a side-project idea previously, but it feels like a concrete wall was brought down. I already have a few tasks in my to-do list that I will work on during my hobby times.
Not being an expert in the field, I assume it is about going out of your circle (this is how I imagine living in a circle with a radius that represents the areas you have explored in life. More diverse you go, larger the radius gets). Your brain starts functioning differently and its effects can be observed just in a few weeks - at least for me. The events that happen in a fiction start shaping your real-life experience; you observe situations from a different perspective, presumably from the eyes of different observers that you have read about in the novel.
Think about this: you have a main character in the story, where the author does a lot of work to take you into his or her story by first introducing him or her to you. Giving tiny details, so you know the character better in every page you read. It becomes a personality. Then subconsciously you have the tendency to interpret events around you with their mindset. This sounds like magic, but hey, it's the brain we are talking about. Everything is magic about it, right?
As a result, I have seen its contribution to my thought process and how it might re-shape my perspective in my daily life. Although my primary genre will stay the same as non-fiction I will still spend a portion of my time on reading novels.
Let me expand my circle a bit and finish with a wonderful quote from the first book of the series:
“The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't.”