These Random Acts Of Kindness Prove That Book Readers Are Top-Notch Human Beings

"...not only because she was being kind, but she was being the perfect librarian!"

In the age of binge-watching and mega-blockbusters, there's something to said about taking the time out to read a book. Not only does reading have many benefits for your brain, including helping to increase your intelligence, but it can also benefit society.

How, you ask? Studies show that reading books, especially fiction, can make one kinder and more likely to empathize with others around them. In a Kingston University study, researchers found that "[exposure] to fiction relates to a range of empathetic abilities," according to The Independent. "Engaging with fictional prose and comedy in particular could be key to enhancing people's empathetic abilities," the Kingston University researchers continued. 

If studies show that the well-read are some of the kindest people on earth, then it shouldn't surprise that the New York Public Library recently compiled a list of some of the random acts of kindness that workers have seen across the system. Some acts, though small, surely brightened someone's day. Others show just how far some will go to lend a helping hand.

Here are the seven random acts of kindness as told by workers of the New York Public Library.. 



"Recently, a senior using a walker came in and drifted toward the elevator. She seemed confused and approached the information desk. In Chinese (not sure if it was Mandarin or Cantonese), she asked us where she could find books. Before we could answer, a patron responded (in Chinese, of course) that he would show her the way. He escorted the woman to the lower level where our Chinese books are located, getting her safely to her destination." — Jeff Katz


"A patron paid another patron's $1 lost card fee. They didn't know one another." – Jennifer Kist


"An older patron once paid off the fines of a teen standing ahead of him, enabling the teen to take several test study guides home that day." – Neville Maloney


"Someone found a lost wallet with no identification, but there was a library card inside. She correctly assumed that we could identify the person by their card, so she took the extra step to bring it to the library. Patron and wallet were reunited!" – Laura Stein


"While I was working at the children's information desk, a little girl asked for books about princesses. Another girl must have overheard, because she was soon by my side with an armful of princess books! It warmed my heart — not only because she was being kind, but she was being the perfect librarian!" – Rebecca Kluberdanz, Kingsbridge Library


"A patron came in and gave me a pen that says 'You are appreciated' in the cutest little box because I helped her renew her library card. It totally made my day. I have since found out that she has given them to other staff members." – Leslie Bernstein


"Teen patrons often come into the branch needing to use a telephone for various reasons. They're not allowed to use the library's phones, so I'll ask other teens on the floor if they have a phone to lend. Many are willing, even if they don't know the person. (I offer them a snack or small prize for their troubles, but on occasion, they refuse because they were 'just doing something nice.')" – Katrina Ortega

Cover image via Shutterstock / Ivan Kochergin.

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