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

Yet another reason to use that library card.

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

An April 2017 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.

reading a novel photo
Getty Images | Oli Scarff

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.

man reading barefoot photo
Flickr | ruifernandes

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.

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

Perhaps a trip to the library is in order?

[h/t: Hello Giggles]