Sadly, with the invention of computers, tablets, laptops, cell phones, social media and the like, one of the most respected and timeless pastimes is fading into obscurity. Hopefully, with so many feature films based-on books in recent years, reading doesn’t become a thing of the past.
Reading has been a source of comfort, passion, excitement and more for so many people for so long. There really is nothing quite like curling up under the sheets, or lounging next to the pool with a suspenseful and exhilarating book in tow. In fact research published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology suggests that reading a book is one of the purest and most effective forms of happiness, even more so than the aforementioned pastimes seemingly taking over the world as of late.
Mary Ann Naples, publisher at Rodale Books, swears by reading and wholeheartedly backs the findings from the study. She even goes so far as to say, “What stood out to me about the study itself is just how amazing it is to have actual tangible evidence and data to finally back up what we already knew was the truth—that books are all around life-enhancing.”
In many previous studies, data has shown that people are generally happier when they spend their hard-earned cash on experiences, rather than material things. However, books have landed in a somewhat common ground for this notion, as buying books does indeed make people happier. Books are now being labeled as an experiential product: that’s a material item that creates an experience when it’s used for its intended purpose.
The notion that books provide happiness is rooted in the fact that when you read a book, no matter the topic or nature, you are enhancing your own life, you are expanding your knowledge and you are able to feel better about improving your own life. A sense of achievement is found in anyone that completes a book, so the feeling of happiness resonates each time a book is read.
Experiential purchases and life experiences make us happy through different mechanisms. This is because life experiences make us happy by fulfilling more of our psychological needs, and help us better understand the bonds people form between themselves. Experiential products help us to acquire new knowledge and, in turn, fulfilling our competence needs.
Reading satisfies two different routes to the same final result…happiness.
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