Researchers at Liverpool University revealed that reading Wordsworth, Shakespeare and other classics “lights up” the brain under scanners. However, when participants were given easier, modern translations of the books, the brain boosting effects were less, suggesting that reading trickier texts is better for you. Areas of the brain fired up included not only the left part of the brain concerned with language, but also the right hemisphere that relates to autobiographical memory and emotion.
Effects are enduring. A study at Emory University in the US found that reading a book causes heightened connectivity in the brain and neurological changes that persist even after you’ve stopped reading.
“Read in order to live.” Gustave Flaubert