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Pepsi says books make Americans happy

Your glass half-full news for the day: Results from the second annual survey conducted by the Pepsi Optimism Project (yes, the acronym is POP) conclude that Americans are more optimistic about their personal relationships, health, finances, and overall well-being than they were in 2008, and the leading “optimism booster” is books. Although POP’s official press release focuses on the role of live events such as concerts, theatre performances, and speeches, GalleyCat points out that the full results show that 88% of respondents cited books as a key contributor to their optimism, putting it first in a “top optimism boosters” list. From GalleyCat:

Unfortunately, that’s not broken down by categories, so it’s not quite clear whether fiction or non-fiction lifts people’s spirits, so you should probably read a little of both, just to be on the safe side.

Even more surprising is the inclusion of poetry readings in the list of top “optimism boosters,” an option chosen by 56% of respondents, putting poetry ahead of advertising, news, and blogs. Although it’s not clear whether these results refer to writing blogs or reading them, you’re likely still better off picking up a novel than scanning through your RSS feeds, but we here at Quillblog wouldn’t blame you if you made an exception.