The Guardian

If books can cure loneliness why are we closing libraries? | Arifa Akbar

A new study calls for a £200m government scheme to promote reading. That sounds like a fairytale idea to me
Protesters gather outside the British Library in London to march against government cuts to the arts and public libraries. Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

“We read to know we are not alone,” wrote CS Lewis. He was clearly on to something. A new report claims that books are powerful enough to halt loneliness and social exclusion. , undertaken jointly by the thinktank Demos and the literacy charity the , argues that reading could also assist with social mobility and mental health, and even “hold off” dementia. It backs its argument with an array of compelling research and recommends a government investment of £200m, involving the NHS supporting “book-based interventions”, as part of its social

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