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

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 were presented at the British Psychological Society conference, were the result of a quiz regarding reading habits followed by a test on interpersonal skills.

Boy reads book between other books at library
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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 have a tendency to step in when they see someone in need of help.

It is notable that 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 are. 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
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It is important to note that this was a somewhat limited study, as there were only 123 participants.

So, does reading improve someone’s personality or are people with pleasant dispositions simply 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
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Whether you buy in to 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 actually help you live longer.

In fact, being a reader has plenty of clear 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 Books, purchases and provides books to children in need through local nonprofit organizations. To date, the Scripps Howard Foundation has donated more than 500,00 books to children in need. You can help by donating online or texting “BOOK” to 345345.

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 2021 “If You Give A Child A Book …” campaign. To give, you can make a donation here or text “BOOK” to 345345. To date, the Scripps Howard Foundation has donated over 500,000 books to kids in need.