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How reading Harry Potter can help your personality

Becoming immersed in a good book may let you learn from a character’s experience and take on some of their positive traits

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woman reading on the couch

Losing yourself in a book isn’t just a great way to spend an afternoon, it can actually help you learn and grow, reports a study from Ohio State University. The phenomenon is called “experience taking,” says study co-author Geoff Kaufman. Becoming immersed in a good book may let you learn from a character’s experience and take on some of their positive traits. It can’t be forced (so reading Steve Jobs’ bio won’t make you an eccentric genius), but Kaufman says getting swept up in a story can help us experience different lives and perceptions. Here are our three fave characters with personality traits we’d love to learn from.

Hermione Granger: She’s not only the smartest student at Hogwarts, she also stays calm and collected while fighting dark wizards. Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling.

Jane Eyre: When faced with sacrificing everything she believes in for love and fortune. Jane always does the right thing. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë.

Harriet Welsch: She overcomes adversity, reconciles with friends and never becomes jaded by her experiences in the world. Harriet The Spy, Louise Fitzhugh.

Who is your favourite woman in literature?