A new study conducted at Harvard found that those who incorporate reading, specifically fiction, into their daily routines are better equipped to deal with the harsh weight of reality than those who do not, given their keen capacity for escapism and ability to suspend disbelief. A cross-section of over 1000 people self-identifying as “well-read” were surveyed, including scientists conducting the study.
According to the survey, vocations among the test group included everything from criminal defense lawyers, surgeons, hospice workers, adjunct professors and veteran soldiers to ice pirates, wizards-in-training, super spies, rogue cyborgs, fairy princesses and sexy centaurs.
“Science fiction is my entire universe. It’s the only way I know how to take a vacation from this broken body,” one man in a wheelchair said, before unzipping his skinsuit to reveal he was actually a giant floating brain with mechanized antennae from the third moon of Ygarth.
Another test subject attributed her ability to face the loneliness of a loveless marriage to her vast collection of romance novels before slowly, seductively unbuttoning her blouse to reveal an ample, milky-white bosom.
The young especially benefit – those for whom the trials of life can be especially traumatizing – the study also found, citing one subject: an orphan who had been abandoned by his parents once upon a time in a strip mall far away until he discovered the library, slayed a dragon, and lived happily ever after.
“If it wasn’t for books I’d be bored as hell and honestly probably even a little insane,” an auto mechanic with a proclivity for old pulp detective stories said, slipping a dime into the jukebox and downing his last shot before noticing a mysterious pair of initials on the inside of a matchbox and catching a dame with a fresh knife in her back in his arms.
Dr. Solomon Dirth, who headed up the study, concluded “it’s important to have an outlet – and books are an excellent way for people to escape the misery and horror of banal modern existence.” Dr. Dirth, who holds three PhDs and serves as Distinguished Professor, confessed he is a fan of the horror genre. “I teach all day and spend a lot of time in this very intellectual headspace so it’s nice to have an escape,” he said, wresting a machete from his briefcase just in time to chop off a zombie’s head before sharpening a stake and sprinkling holy water outside his office before nightfall.