Psychologists from Washington University used brain scans to see what happens inside our heads when we read stories. They found that ‘readers mentally simulate each new situation encountered in a narrative’. The brain weaves these situations together with experiences from its own life to create a new mental synthesis. Reading a book leaves us with new neural pathways.
Gail Rebuck in the Guardian on the role of written narrative in developing empathy and a sense of self. She adds that
(as) publishers, we need to use every new piece of technology to embed long-form reading within our culture. We should concentrate on the message, not agonise over the medium. We should be agnostic on the platform, but evangelical about the content.