New Study—Books make us more human

New Study—Books make us more human

happy-book1News Flash: Turns out, books help us live up to our better selves. In case you missed the news story, a couple of psychologists at the New School for Social Research found that people gain empathy and social intelligence after reading certain kinds of books. 

What kind of books? Well, not blockbusters, so nix the heart-thomping crime and horror stories or steamy bodice rippers. The study refers specifically to "literary fiction"—books endowed with well-developed characters and storylines that explore complicated human relationships—the kinds of works we read in book clubs.books-make-us-human2

One of the books used in the study was Louise Erdrich's Round House—a favorite read for book clubs and the 3rd most requested book on all of LitLovers. (See our Popular Books page.)

There's a reason books like Erdrich's matters. According to the New York Times article:

...literary fiction often leaves more to the imagination, encouraging readers to make inferences about characters and be sensitive to emotional nuance and complexity.

You can read the full story in the NY Times HERE. It's a fascinating article and well worth the time.

For Book Clubs
: Consider taking time during one of your meetings to discuss books that have altered the way you perceive people and the world around you. What books have enlarged your ideas about life and your role in it?

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