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Can Reading Make You Happier?

13 July 2019

From Nathan Bransford:

Can reading make you happier? The New Yorker has an awesome article about bibliotherapy and the extent to which books can improve happiness. This isn’t an opinion, it’s science. Studies have shown that reading activates the same regions of the brain as if the reader were experiencing those activities, people who read fiction are better at empathizing with other people, and people who read literary fiction are better able to guess what other people might be thinking or feeling.

But wait, there’s more:

Reading has been shown to put our brains into a pleasurable trance-like state, similar to meditation, and it brings the same health benefits of deep relaxation and inner calm. Regular readers sleep better, have lower stress levels, higher self-esteem, and lower rates of depression than non-readers.

Link to the rest at Nathan Bransford

Books in General

4 Comments to “Can Reading Make You Happier?”

  1. I don’t know about the science, but reading works for me. I can hide from arthritis and headaches in a good book.

  2. Terrence OBrien

    Bibliotherapist? I recall the old Peanuts comic strips where Lucy has the booth set up on the lawn. “Psychiatric Help 5 cents. The doctor is in.”

  3. A good book can take my mind off my current problems. A great book might cause me to come away with a better idea of what my current problems are – and what I might do about them.

  4. > This isn’t an opinion, it’s science. Studies have shown that

    There are so many outright fraudulent “studies” that only the credulous pay any attention to them.

    Even studies by credentialed researchers or institutions, vetted by the peer review process, are fraudulent so often that the perpetrators don’t even get called out when they blather about “reproducibility problem.”

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