Reading classic novels instead of self-help books can boost brain power, ...

Reading classic novels instead of self-help books can boost brain power and improve your quality of life, new research suggests Reading complex works of classic literature boosts brain power, research says It 'frees emotions and imagination' and lets people feel alive, suggests professor  The brain 'gets excited, it gets emotional', according to Professor Philip Davis  Demanding books and crosswords could be linked to slower rate of decline in brain power  

By Daily Mail Reporter

Published: 01:23 GMT, 2 March 2020 | Updated: 01:23 GMT, 2 March 2020

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Ditching self-help books in favour of complex works of classic literature can help boost brain power and quality of life, research suggests.

People suffering from depression, chronic pain and even dementia are being urged to tackle books by the likes of Charles Dickens or Jane Austen to send ‘rocket boosters’ to the brain.

Professor Philip Davis, of the University of Liverpool, said that reading the classics ‘frees emotions and imagination’ and lets people feel ‘more alive’, potentially allowing relief from symptoms of illness.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Reading classic literature can help boost brain power and quality of life, research suggests. It 'frees emotions and imagination' and lets people feel 'more alive', says Professor Philip Davis, of the University of Liverpool

Self-help books and other similar works do not carry the same benefit because the process of reading them is too basic to excite the brain.

‘If you’re just scanning for information, you go fast, it’s very easy, it’s automatic,’ Professor Davis told the Sunday Times. ‘But when literature begins to do something more complicated than that, the brain begins to work. It gets excited, it gets emotional.’

His own book, Reading For Life, is based on work at Liverpool’s Centre for Research into

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