What happens to you when you read?
What happens to you when you read?

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What happens to you when you read?

Introduction

Reading as a form of entertainment has a long history. Not only does a good book entertain us though, it can be an activity that brings us comfort. In this course you will discover that people have often turned to reading as one way of meeting times of difficulty across history, stretching back from the present day’s pandemic to, for example, the battlefields and hospitals of the First World War.

There is a good deal of evidence that reading can affect us psychologically, even changing how we think and feel in several different ways. During this course you will complete activities that not only get you reading but allow you to experience for yourself some of the effects that reading can have on you as an individual.

As well as changing you in some of the ways that you will explore here, research suggests that people who read books actually live longer. Bavishi, who carried out the research about this in 2016 says ‘the benefits of reading books include a longer life in which to read them’ (p.44, 2016).

In the following video, three of the authors who wrote this course will explain a little about their favourite book(s) and how reading has made them feel during difficult periods in their lives. (You will notice that the team contains some academics who have an interest in psychology and some who have an interest in literature.)

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Video 1 My favourite book and why I like it
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