4.1.1 Contribute to the knowledge society Stimulate reading and pleasure in reading Participation in and contribution to the knowledge economy starts with literacy in the broadest sense. In Section 3.2, we saw how reading skills are essential for learning and how they increase the chance of obtaining a place in the knowledge economy. Reading is also important for affective development, as it contributes to relaxation, the enjoyment of elegant language and escape from the pressures of daily life. It also stimulates the fantasy, the imagination and creativity. Furthermore, it helps people to learn about the world, to empathise with characters and to seek new insights.
Reading and literature impart knowledge about other peopleâ€™s lives and provide a chance to compare other views with oneâ€™s own ideas. They also encourage reflection, individual awareness, tolerance, empathy and understanding.73 When the reading culture is under increasing pressure, providing support for the encouragement of reading and a reading and literary culture will be closer to the heart of the library service than it is now.