Does Reading Make You Happy?

According to an article in last Sunday’s Parade Magazine, researchers at the University of Maryland found that reading a novel elevates one’s mood, even if the story has a depressing theme. I count that as an endorsement for the art we writers pursue. If I’d read this article prior to the Book Fair at Pioneer Square, it would have presented an interesting topic of conversation.

While I wouldn’t describe our sales at the Fair as brisk, Puddletown books were sold. Friends were greeted with enthusiasm, and a tour of other tables revealed alluring selections. I bought another Jean Sheldon mystery, The Seven Cities of Greed, which I just finished reading. The well-researched setting is fascinating, as is her ability to juggle a cast of characters who keep the action moving.  I visited with Veronica Esagui, author of Veronica’s Diaries, but since her third book hasn’t been released yet, was unable to make that purchase.

Two readings for Volunteer for Glory are scheduled this month, and final approval on a cover design for Scattered Pieces draws near.  Even as a laggard summer makes its appearance, time is racing away.

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Published in: on August 9, 2011 at 9:07 am  Comments (9)  
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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’m so sorry to have missed the book fair. My own fair was fun, and a little profitable. I would have loved to meet Veronica again, and have a chance to get another of Jean Sheldon’s books. I met them both out at Jan’s Paperbacks in Aloha.
    No matter what medium is used, people still want to read; still want to be told stories.

    • Beth, I’d like to have been in both places, myself. I remember asking my mother, “Tell me a story.” 🙂

  2. nice blog Alice!!!!

    • Cher, how lovely of you to read my blog. Glad you liked it. 🙂

  3. I’m glad the book fair was a success 🙂

    I find that it was interesting that reading a book with a depressing theme elevated a reader’s mood too. Those books just make me sad.

  4. […] by Haley Whitehall Today I read a blog post by a friend, and fellow historical fiction author, Alice Lynn: Does Reading Make you Happy? […]

    • There’s something weird going on with this reply posting today. Retrograde Mercury? But, to repeat myself (mysterious disappearing reply); I read your article, Haley, and have to agree with you. I don’t enjoy books with depressing themes and characters and usually avoid them. But there are others that make me cry and laugh, and those are my favorites.

  5. Stories are often the way that we cope with life. Psychologists can refer to episodes of certain TV shows to draw a life lesson for patients who have difficulty understanding their own, or other’s behavior. Fables teach us wisdom, epics give us role models, comic books direct wish-fullfillment fantasies. (I may be little and skinny, but if I just refuse to quit, some day I can be Captain America!)

    Reading does make me happy, but I’m avoid depressing books. Why bother?

    • Roxie, I totally agree with you. Love your thoughtful musings on the subject.


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