Research shows that reading makes us more empathetic. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/-1ph65.html
Maybe there's implications for ASBO policy - forget community service sentencing, put them in libraries, chained to a book. You might have to sew their eyes open, clockwork orange style. And a new type of librarian would be required to manage these readers - librarians with boxing experience could demand astronomical salaries.
And if reading has been shown to change brain structure, what effect might writing have?
PS. Since I added the twitter feed to this blog, I have been unable to comment here, and thus unable to reply to comments. Typical! For every step forward, there's a step backward. It all balances up.