What Literature Can Do

Author(s):*Listed Alphabetically
Baker H, Crane L, Davis P, Hill E, Koleva K, Magee F, Tangeras TM

Year of Publication:

Guy's & St Thomas' Charity, University of Liverpool

Publication Type:


This report investigates the impact of the Shared Reading programme run by The Reader organisation upon mental health and well being in the four boroughs of Croydon, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark. The report provides an analysis of what Shared Reading does, gives qualitative and quantitative evidence that the programme works and asks how, where, and why it works.

This report was created by the Centre for Research into Reading, Literature and Society, University of Liverpool (CRILS), which was engaged to undertake research into the impact of Shared Reading on the health and well being of beneficiaries. Shared Reading is run by The Reader (TR), a national charity since 2008, dedicated to bringing serious literature from all ages to often hard to reach communities.

The report had three research aims. The first was to explain the effects of Shared Reading both within and across a wide range of communities, indicating population differences. The second research purpose was to explore the benefits to individuals of reading literature aloud together. The third was to investigate the psychological and cognitive processes involved in shared reading. The report utilises both qualitative and quantitative research methods and concludes with the directions for further research.

Evidence Type: Qualitative Research

Main Focus: Mental Health

Research Purpose: Outcome Evaluation

Context: Community

Participant Group: Adults

Art Forms: Literature

Access Type: Free Download

APA Citation:

Davis P., Magee F., Koleva K., Tangeras T.M., Hill E., Baker H. and Crane L. (2016). What Literature Can Do. Liverpool: University of Liverpool.