Do we really need books? Yes, they're a source of information, but most of that can be found on the internet nowadays.
And fiction can let readers experience life from other people's points of view, but can't movies, TV shows, and even video games do the same thing?
My answer is a resounding, NO!
When I'm watching a movie or show someone else has supplied all the images and details but when I read a book it's my own imagination at work. It doesn't matter if it's an e-book or a hard copy, a fiction book that's well written has the ability to carry me away to another world and lets me experience another life.
If someone's not a skillful reader that may not happen because they're constantly aware of the words and sentences as they read them, but good readers only notice things like that subtly in the background without being consciously aware of them.
In my opinion, reading fiction opens people's minds to experiences they'd never have otherwise and helps them understand other people and situations at a deep level. And, as a result, the readers can become more sympathetic to others and make wiser choices in their own lives because of all they've experienced through books.