The Queen’s Reading Room Study

At The Queen’s Reading Room, we’re fascinated by the connection between reading and wellbeing and have undertaken a pioneering new neuroscience research study to understand what happens in the brain when we read a book.

This research used brain scans, skin conductance tests and a nationally representative study developed by neuroscientists, to examine the connection between reading and wellbeing. Together, these research pieces gave us over 72 million data points and a clear picture of our emotional responses as we read a book.

Key findings revealed that just 5 minutes of reading can reduce stress by nearly 20%, improve concentration and focus by as much as 11% and that reading earlier in the day can help readers feel more connected to others and feel ready to tackle challenges. We discovered that reading a work of fiction can significantly reduce feelings of loneliness, important because social isolation has already been proven by neuroscientists to have a link with an increased risk of developing different dementias.

The results have proven that there is an important link between reading fiction and increased mental health, brain health and social connectedness. Not only is reading a magical, joyous experience, it turns out that it’s also good for our health!