Beach bonkbusters may be good for the ageing brain, a new study suggests. Researchers at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology in the US have discovered that casual reading may help preserve memory skills as people grow older. That appears to include not only the likes of Booker Prize winning novels but thrillers and the kind of fat bestseller that holidaymakers take away with them to while away sunshine hours on the sand or by the hotel pool. “Leisure reading, the kind that really sucks you in, is good for you, and it helps build the mental abilities on which reading depends,” says the study’s senior investigator Liz Stine-Morrow.