Study shows that reading for fun has many benefits for health sciences students

According to a study published in 2016 by a researcher at the University of Saskatchewan, there are many benefits of leisure reading (fiction and non-fiction) for health sciences students.

One of the primary benefits cited by 72% of health sciences students reading for pleasure was that it helped them to have more empathy for others (namely patients).

Other benefits included that books provided them an escape or break from the pressures of studying and provided a certain degree of stress relief; that reading helped them develop greater cultural competency, and enabled them to have greater self-awareness and heightened beliefs about their purpose in life.

Some barriers to leisure reading mentioned by students included cost and time needed to buy books and time needed to visit the public library. The Neil John Maclean Health Sciences Library has eliminated those barriers at the Bannatyne campus by making a leisure reading collection available on the main floor of the library.

The NJM Relax n’ Read (RnR) collection is available to students, faculty and staff through collaboration and partnership with the Winnipeg Public Library, who ensures the collection is stocked with the latest and most popular books.

Need ideas for what to read next? Check out the books available in the Leisure Reading collection featured in the CBC Spring Reading list.



Watson, E. (2016). The importance of leisure reading to health sciences students: Results of a survey. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 33(1), 33-48.


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