Books

Book lovers, this is what your reading habits say about you

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Sarah Biddlecombe
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Calling all book lovers: science has some good news for you.

A new piece of research has found that those who read fiction tend to be kinder and more empathetic, and display more positive social traits than those who don’t.

The results also showed that people’s personalities differed depending on the genre of book they liked the most.

Speaking at a British Psychological Society conference in Brighton last week, The Telegraph reports that researchers said, "exposure to fiction relates to a range of empathetic abilities.

“Engaging with fictional prose and comedy in particular could be key to enhancing people’s empathetic abilities.”

Reading books: what's not to love?

Reading books: what's not to love?

The researchers were discussing a new study in which 123 participants were quizzed on their love of books, TV shows and plays before being tested on their interpersonal skills.



The results of the study proved revealing, showing that those who enjoyed drama and romance novels were found to have high levels of empathy, while readers of more experimental novels had a heightened ability to see things from different perspectives.

And those with a preference for comedy were shown to be best at relating to others.

Stack up your library and reap the benefits

Stack up your library and reap the benefits

Should you need further convincing to get your nose stuck in a book, this isn’t the first time that science has proved how great reading can be.

Reading can also alleviate stress and help you sleep better, while encouraging you to make better decisions and feel more empowered.

On that note, please excuse us while our tsundoku habit gets more out of hand…

Images: iStock

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Sarah Biddlecombe

Sarah Biddlecombe is an award-winning journalist and Digital Features Editor at Stylist

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