Words forming a continuous story were presented to 9 subjects at frequencies ranging from 5 to 30 Hz, determined individually to render comprehension easy, effortful, or practically impossible. We identified a left-hemisphere neural network sensitive to reading performance directly from the time courses of activation in the brain, derived from magnetoencephalography data. Regardless of the stimulus rate, communication within the long-range neural network occurred at a frequency of 8–13 Hz. Our coherence-based detection of interconnected nodes reproduced several brain regions that have been previously reported as active in reading tasks, based on traditional contrast estimates. Intriguingly, the face motor cortex and the cerebellum, typically associated with speech production, and the orbitofrontal cortex, linked to visual recognition and working memory, additionally emerged as densely connected components of the network. The left inferior occipitotemporal cortex, involved in early letter-string or word-specific processing, and the cerebellum turned out to be the main forward driving nodes of the network. Synchronization within a subset of nodes formed by the left occipitotemporal, the left superior temporal, and orbitofrontal cortex was increased with the subjects' effort to comprehend the text. Our results link long-range neural synchronization and directionality with cognitive performance.