From my point of view, there are four basic reasons people read: (1) for entertainment, which includes escaping reality; (2) for knowledge, or to learn about things they don’t know in some fashion; (3) for inspiration, and/or to think about matters in new or different ways; and (4) for occupational/scholastic necessity, although I’d hope scholastic necessity includes learning (which it doesn’t, unhappily, for all too many students today).
People also delude themselves about those reasons. Reading about cinema stars or the Kardashians, or reading tabloid stories about natural disasters and the like isn’t learning; it’s entertainment. And reading to obtain knowledge in order to use that knowledge to reinforce existing thought patterns is certainly reading for knowledge, but it doesn’t do much for thinking when the mindset is already ossified.
One of the great benefits of fiction, especially science fiction and fantasy, is the best of books in these genres can not only entertain, allow a certain escapism, but also impart knowledge and spur thought. On top of that, they can provide income and a following for the critics who review them, although, from what I’ve seen over the years, a certain percentage of those critics neither learn anything from some books nor are able to think about what the book contained, but then they probably weren’t the best students, either.
In any case, F&SF at its best does all of the above, and at its worst still provides entertainment…and that’s not something you can say about an awful of aspects of society today.
So… keep reading.