I can think of several reasons for that. Tastes in fiction are subjective. I sometimes hesitate recommending books because I don’t know if others will like it. A lot of contemporary fiction contains dark themes, and what is merely thought-provoking to one person may be a stumbling block or trigger for the next. By the time we give all the disclaimers we’ve spoiled the book.
But those of us who read to learn tend to neglect fiction. We feel time slipping trough our fingers, and we want to read all the books we can. I fear, though, that we’re becoming too earnest for our own good. So why read fiction?
It Makes Us Better Readers
Fiction (and to a degree, certain memoirs) engage the imagination in a way other books don’t. Our imaginations are a gift from God, and we glorify him when we use this gift. As Tony Reinke says in his book, Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books,
We imagine because our Creator imagines. And with our imagination we can now “see” eternal reality (2 Corinthians 4:18). This divine imagination, this ability to see the unseen, is a skill God has given us for our spiritual profit.
Without an active imagination, a good bit of the Bible will be hard to read, difficult to understand, and impossible to appreciate.
It Makes Us Better People
I’ve never been to war. I’ve never lost a child. I’ve never been chased down a dark alley by a bad guy, and by the grace I’ve God I hope I never will be. I would never be so obtuse as to claim I know what these things feel like because I've read fiction, but seeing each of these situations through the eyes of characters in a novel gives me a glimpse of the emotions people experience during these times. Most of our worlds are pretty narrow. It’s good to consider experiences different from ours. 
It Makes Us Better Writers
Sometimes when I am reading an article or book I start feeling as if I’m hurtling downhill, unable to get my footing. Usually If I take time to examine why, I notice the pattern of the piece is usually like this: fact, fact, fact, fact, point, fact, fact…you get the idea.
If it’s a situation that requires my feedback—like a review—I usually say something like, “It was kind of dense. Maybe some word pictures would help?" But what I’m really thinking is, “For the love of all that is literary, add some illustrations!”
Jesus, who understood how humans learn better than anyone else, used word pictures in his teaching. A good word picture will let your readers catch their breath and apply all those facts you’ve been giving them. It’s akin to handing your reader a labeled file folder and saying, “Put this idea here.”
I’m sure there are some excellent writers who never read fiction (there are exceptions to every rule), but many writers could improve if they exercised their imaginations through good stories.
We need to relax sometimes. Enjoying good things is another good gift from God. There’s nothing wrong with certain TV shows or video games, but reading for pleasure is an option that we pass over too often. It’s entertaining and edifying. What more could you ask for?
I’m sure some of you are still unconvinced, and I know reading time is precious. But you’ll never know if you’ll like it until you try it. Consider adding a little fiction to your reading list.
What about you. Do you like to read fiction? Why or why not?
 Tony Reinke, Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books, Crossway Books, 2011.
 Tony Reinke examines this point in a slightly different way in this post, and also on pages 120–122 of Lit!.