8 Mar 07
Reading can have a huge effect on you, in a number of different ways. Primarily because it exposes you things you might not have thought about otherwise. Like anything, if you're exposed to the same kind of thing over and over for along time, it can skew your perspective on the issue--but with books there is the opportunity to be exposed to something that you never would have encountered. Take the recent trend of making villains and monsters the hero of a story: Before, we only ever saw a vampire or a theif or a killer as a "bad guy"--we never understood his motivations, and never considered that just because we don't like what they do, it doesn't make them bad. Whether this "sympathy for the devil" is itself good or bad is a matter of opinion--but as a general rule I think sympathetic understanding is better then ignorant bigotry. I find that more often than not a book doesn't "change" a person so much as it causes them to discover their own beliefs. Ofter we accept certan things without ever thinking about them--when a book or anything else causes us to examine our "beliefs", often we find what we truly believe is quite a bit differant than what we thought.