Apparently, reading fiction connects you to the community potrayed. Makes sense. I’d certainly feel like a member of the Drones, a resident of Blandings Castle, a boarder at 221B Baker Street, student at Hogwarts, resident of Lochdubh, a junior barrister squashed alongside Horace Rumpole in Equity Court.
The article doesnt discuss this, but I believe the same effect is at work with TV shows. We’re there with the Losties on the Island in “Lost”, in Dr. Martin Ellingham’s surgery in Portwenn, with Inspectors Morris and Lewis in Oxford, and with Lenny in “Law & Order”‘s Manhattan.