There used to be a time when school.children we're discouraged from reading story books because the impression was that , they would neglect their studies. But more and more studies suggest that reading books , fiction or any other sharpens the child's mind and cognitive powers . Personally I have always encouraged my children to read anything that interests them and not limit themselves only to school books, the same with my students. From my experience , students who are voracious readers are all rounders and score well without much effort.
Pay no mind to those who talk behind your back, it simply means that you are two steps ahead !!!