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The Great Depression exerted unforeseen influences on American culture and politics. It encouraged new experiments in public policy and forced Americans to question traditional beliefs and habits. This article suggests that the depression may have encouraged Americans to read more. Circulation of books rose dramatically during the early years of the depression and the reading room was crowded day and night. Although the article suggests that "depression reading" ended in 1934, the depression itself was far from over. It would last until the beginning of the Second World War in 1939.