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Study Says People Who Read Books Are Nicer Than Those Who Don’t

Study Says People Who Read Books Are Nicer Than Those Who Don’t
Posted at 10:19 AM, May 22, 2017

Got a grouch in your life? Perhaps handing that person a book will help.

A study by Kingston University of London found that readers are generally some of the nicest folks out there. The findings, which researchers presented at the British Psychological Society conference, resulted from a quiz on reading habits followed by a test on interpersonal skills.

Researchers asked the participants whether they preferred to indulge in reading books, watching plays or viewing television programs. The test that followed asked the participants to answer questions such as how much they consider others’ feelings when making decisions or whether they tend to step in when they see someone needing help.

Notably, the type of reading material seems to make a difference. The study showed that people who prefer fiction books are inclined to exhibit more positive social behavior than their non-reading counterparts. In addition, drama and romance readers seemed to be the most empathetic of the group. Comedy-themed book fans find it easy to relate to others, while people who read experimental books have a knack for viewing issues from many angles.

Children reading books at park

It is important to note that this was a somewhat limited study, as there were only 123 participants. Still, when it’s giving you another excuse to read books, who’s going to complain?

So, does reading improve someone’s personality, or are people with pleasant dispositions more prone to be readers? This is something the study does not answer. The researchers were quick to acknowledge that their findings only show a correlation, not causation.

Woman holding mug while reading book

Whether you buy into the idea that reading begets a more pleasant temperament or not, you might want to grab a book. Other studies have shown that avid readers are generally more attractive and that regular reading can help you live longer.

Being a reader has plenty of clearly established benefits, especially for children. To help more children become life-long readers, the Scripps Howard Foundation has launched a literacy campaign called “If You Give a Child a Book.” The foundation raises money and, in a partnership with Scholastic Book Fairs, purchases and provides books to children in need through Title 1 schools.

This academic year, the Scripps Howard Foundation will distribute its 1-millionth book to children in need. Now through Sept. 9, you can help by donating online. Every $5 donation allows the Scripps Howard Fund gives one book to an underserved and vulnerable child living in poverty.

Are you ready to dive into a book now?

[h/t: Hello Giggles]

Simplemost — in partnership with our audiences, our parent company, The E.W. Scripps Company, and the Scripps Howard Foundation — is helping to put books into the hands of kids who need them most as part of the 2022 “If You Give A Child A Book …” campaign. To give, you can make a donation here. This school year, the Scripps Howard Foundation will distribute its one millionth book to kids in need.

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