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Free course

What happens to you when you read?

Free statement of participation on completion
What happens to you when you read?

Ever wondered about the psychology of literature or stories? Or how a certain narrative might change our attitude or perspective?

This free course, What happens to you when you read? explores our relationship with books and the ways in which engaging with fiction in particular can change readers. 

Research shows that as well as providing us with a form of entertainment, the activity of reading can bring benefits to our wellbeing in challenging times. People have experienced and explored these benefits throughout history.

A good story can entertain us, develop our creativity and imagination, and transport us to different fictional worlds, but it can change us psychologically as well.


As you work your way through this course, you will have the chance to participate in both reading and writing activities and experience for yourself what happens to you when you read.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand some of the ways in which reading books can potentially transform you
  • understand more about the psychological processes happening when you read
  • demonstrate familiarity with the positive impacts of reading on mental wellbeing in some distressing times in history.  

First Published: 20/07/2021

Updated: 20/07/2021

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