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“The reader becomes the book, and the book becomes the reader”

Why Reading Matters

This quote to me, felt like the essence of the documentary “Why Reading Matters” (still on iplayer for those of you that don’t get BBC 4 – only until tomorrow though). A totally fascinating insight into how reading affects the human brain it used Wuthering Heights as a core text to demonstrate the brain’s responsiveness to particular words. The documentary explained and showed through scans on people as they read, how we emphatically respond in a positive and active way to reading and more specifically to active words (in the same way that we might empathise with an active emotion to watching visual images of people dancing).

The documentary also showed that, as reading is a learned tool and not just something our brain is automatically programmed to do, there are many different areas of our brains all working in sequence together in order to decode writing and words.

Take a look here for one of the studies that was featured in the documentary. Watching this documentary, and then finding “How Reading made us Modern” on iplayer too, has made for a pretty interesting week’s viewing.

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