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Friday, 15 April 2011

Books, the New Prozac?

A friend gave me Sylvia Plath's “The Bell Jar” at a sleepover for my fourteenth birthday. After the other girls fell asleep, I stayed up and read the entire novel. A likely choice for a moody teen-ager already contemplating the inexorable passing of her youth.

So when I heard that a study published this month had found that reading books improves the moods of adolescents, I became curious. Did the study’s authors take the types of books into consideration?

“We noted the titles of books,” Dr. Brian Primack, the lead author of the study, said, “but there are so many ways to examine some of those titles. It’s unlikely many teenagers in the study have been exposed to ‘The Bell Jar’ or books that are purely happy. The books that a lot of young people are reading these days are all of these weird vampire things. A lot of them are kind of creepy.”

Jeannie Vanasco

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