Can reading help heal us and process our emotions?

Can reading help heal us and process our emotions – or is that just a story we tell ourselves?
girl reading book on lounge

The oldest known library, dating back to the second millennium BCE, in Thebes, Egypt, reportedly bore a sign above its portals in Greek: Psyches Iatreion, translated as ‘healing place of the soul’.

The idea that reading may confer healing benefits is not new, but continues to intrigue readers and researchers.

Of course, this doesn’t apply to reading about how to put up the tent, or tidy our piles of household stuff. When we talk about books that might offer a balm for the soul, we mean fiction, poetry and narrative non-fiction (including memoir).

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