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UK study finds regular reading increases self-esteem

Research in the UK has found that people who read regularly have greater self-esteem, are more empathetic and have a greater ability to cope with difficult situations, reports The Bookseller. The research was conducted at the University of Liverpool for UK reading-advocacy campaign Galaxy Quick Reads, and surveyed more than 4100 UK respondents weighted across age, gender, region and education. The research found that 58 percent of the UK population read regularly, and that those who read for 30 minutes a week are 20 percent more likely to be satisfied in their life than non-readers; 21 percent less likely to experience feelings of depression; and 10 percent more likely to report good self-esteem. The study also found that readers are more likely to be empathetic, with 64 percent of readers reporting better understanding of other people’s feelings compared to 48 percent of non-readers. The survey also reported that lapsed readers make up almost a third of the UK adult population, with lack of time cited as the biggest reason for not reading regularly. Researcher Dr Josie Billington said ‘it’s important also to recognise the gains to be had from reading on our personal health and wellbeing’.