The past couple of days I’ve been reading non-fiction. I’ve been reading the anecdotes of Appalachian Doctors, a book about poisonous plants, and last night I was reading a magazine article about the back brakes locking in a car and the possible causes.
Will I ever use any of the things I read? Who knows? Maybe. Maybe not.
Reading teaches you the mechanics of writing. Its more than just grammar and putting down words on paper. You have to put those words down in such a way that they are entertaining and/or informative. (If you’ve read dry text books or operating manuals you know that there is a wrong way to do this.) You want to draw your audience in, not put them to sleep.
You also want to have your facts straight. Even in Science Fiction or Fantasy where most things can explained away by future tech or magic, there is a limit on what you can fake (and get away with it). I think that having a health reading diet is just as important for the mind as a health food diet is for the body.