Originally Posted by Ea
I can't remember ever not knowing what parchment is, but Lord Peter Wimsey's interest in antique books taught me a good deal more because I had to look up some words.
Edit: I forgot to add my point, which was that reading is good for you, because you invariably learn something.
That's actually a topic for another thread - "What did you learn from reading fiction that you hadn't expected going in?"
Another question might be "Are some genres better than others for such accidental discoveries?"
My principal fiction genre is SF/fantasy, though I read a fair amount of mysteries and various other things. There are certainly things I would not have known were it not for my reading, as I encountered something unfamiliar and one thing led to another.
I specifically except non-fiction from the question. While you can (and I do) read non-fiction for pleasure, part of the assumption going in when reading non-fiction is that you will learn something. With fiction, such learning is serendipitous.