Something Very Curious Happens to Your Brain When You Walk Into A Library

Something Very Curious Happens to Your Brain When You Walk Into A Library

Our generation reads more books than our parents' generation, and, according to a new study, if we integrate a library visit into those reading habits we will likely be happier as well. Based on a study commissioned by the U.K.'s Department for Culture, Media & Sport there is evidence that going to the library gives people the same brain happiness kick as a $2,282 raise

The study examined how cultural engagement affects overall well-being. It attributed a monetary value to activities like like library visits, and sports ($1,895) when done frequently and consistently.


The study identified eight activities that "positively and significantly" impact life satisfaction: engagement in sports, team sports and individual sports, swimming, engagement in the arts, attending the arts, participation in dance and crafts, attending musical events and plays and visiting libraries.

It looks like the artistically inclined might be getting some serious happiness side effects. The study also identified two activities that had a negative impact on people's life satisfaction: going to the gym (we totally knew that all along) and playing music. 

The caveat here is a bit of a chicken and an egg scenario. Do happy people seek out sports and libraries? Or do playing sports and going to the library make people happier? Conversely, do unhappy people go to the gym? Or does going to the gym make people unhappy?

Either way, a library visit seems like a pretty low-impact way to give yourself a $190 per month happiness boost. And for all you library visitors out there, looks like you knew something about happiness all along. 

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Elena Sheppard

Elena is the Arts & Entertainment Editor at Mic. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, Time Out New York, The New York Times Upfront, ABC News, and various travel publications. She is also a Princeton alum, a former Thailand resident, and a Brooklyn native.

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