Would you change your reading habits and choice of literature, if you knew that reading classic books will make you smarter and nicer overall?
With more people choosing to read posts online or on social media, reading the classics has become a chore for some. It is something like people are forced to do, because it is a school assignment or a graduation requirement. But what if science proves there is more of the classics than being a school burden?
Time to take out those famous children’s books by Charles Dickens, Edith Nesbit or Rudyard Kipling. Moreover, a classic personalized book is even better.
In a study conducted by scientists, English academics and psychologists at Liverpool University, volunteers were made to read works by T.S. Eliot, William Wordsworth and William Shakespeare, while their brain activity were being scanned.
The study revealed some interesting points about reading classic literature.
It boosts brain power
During the experiment, when a volunteer was going through a challenging text, the brain lit up, which led English Professor Philip Davis to conclude that serious literature can boost the brain. “The research shows the power of literature to shift mental pathways, to create new thoughts, shapes, and connections in the young and staid alike.” So imagine the kind of person your child becomes if they start early on with reading famous children’s books.
Challenges your brain to think
Do you know why some people steer clear of classic books? It’s because they are hard to understand even when written in English. Nothing about Old English is easy to decipher. But what they don’t know is that it is these unfamiliar words and different sentence structures make reading the classics beneficial. It challenges your mind to think and see beyond the written context. This, in turn, would boost your creativity and thinking skills.
Encourages deep reading
Reading on the web is often considered superficial compared to reading classic literature. The presence of hyperlinks, for example, will distract a reader from the entire text, as they have to decide on whether or not to click the link. Whereas a printed classic doesn’t have such links, making way for a more immersive reading. Add to this the unique words and storytelling technique used and what you get is deep reading that, research showed, helps in the intellectual and emotional development of children. If they grow up reading the classics, their brain will be trained to comprehend with ease books such as The Railway Children, The Prince and the Pauper, or Robin Hood.
More useful than self-help books
The same study at Liverpool University also revealed that reading poetry, in particular, increases brain activity in the right hemisphere. Since this part of the brain is connected with “autobiographical memory”, poetry reading will help readers “reflect on and reappraise their own experiences in light of what they have read”. Compared with self-help books, poetry encourages you to think all on your own what could have been or what should have been, rather than being spoon-fed with advice and dos and don’ts.
Give the gift of intelligence and deep reading through a classic personalized book. Your child or someone else’s will thank you for it. Choose those that allow you to customize your stories, so children can enjoy a truly immersive reading experience.