Reading and psychological health

14 Oct

At the beginning of each semester I ask my students to list their favorite non-fiction book, favorite novel, and favorite movie. This helps me learn something about the students and becomes the starting point for many discussions. Occasionally, to my great sadness, some students will admit that they never read anything.

Recently, the several media outlets have reported on research about the psychological benefits of reading. Most of these accounts reference this paper published in the journal Science that linked reading literary fiction with improved Theory of Mind.

Here is the account published in The New York Times and here is the reading list used in the study. In a somewhat different vein Gavin Francis writes about bibliotherapy in the Guardian, in his review of the book The Novel Cure.

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