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{{About||the town in England|Reading, Berkshire|other uses}}{{Short description|Cognitive process of decoding symbols to derive meaning}}{{Reading}}Reading is the complex cognitive process of decoding symbols to derive meaning. It is a form of language processing.Success in this process is measured as reading comprehension. Reading is a means for language acquisition, communication, and sharing information and ideas. The symbols are typically visual (written or printed) but may be tactile (Braille). Like all languages, it is a complex interaction between text and reader, shaped by prior knowledge, experiences, attitude, and the language community—which is culturally and socially situated. The reading process requires continuous practice, development, and refinement. Reading requires creativity and critical analysis. Consumers of literature deviate from literal words to create images that make sense to them in the unfamiliar places the texts describe. Because reading is a complex process, it cannot be controlled or restricted to one or two interpretations. There are no concrete laws in reading, but rather it provides readers an escape to produce their own products introspectively. This promotes deep exploration of texts during interpretation.De Certeau, Michel. "Reading as Poaching." The Practice of Everyday Life. Trans. Steven F. Rendall. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984. 165-176.Readers use a variety of reading strategies to decode (to translate symbols into sounds or visual representations of speech) and comprehension. Readers may use context clues to identify the meaning of unknown words. Readers integrate the words they have read into their existing framework of knowledge or schema.Other types of reading are not speech based writing systems, such as music notation or pictograms. The common link is the interpretation of symbols to extract the meaning from the visual notations or tactile signals (as in the case of Braille).


File:03282012Casa hogar niñas tlahuac30.JPG|thumb|Volunteer reads to a girl at the Casa Hogar de las Niñas in Mexico CityMexico CityCurrently most reading is either of the printed word from ink or toner on paper, such as in a book, magazine, newspaper, leaflet, or notebook, or of electronic displays, such as computer displays, television, mobile phones or e-readers. Handwritten text may also be produced using a graphite pencil or a pen.Short texts may be written or painted on an object.Often the text relates to the object, such as an address on an envelope, product info on packaging, or text on a traffic or street sign. A slogan may be painted on a wall. A text may also be produced by arranging stones of a different color in a wall or road. Short texts like these are sometimes referred to as environmental print.Sometimes text or images are in relief, with or without using a color contrast. Words or images can be carved in stone, wood, or metal; instructions can be printed in relief on the plastic housing of a home appliance, or myriad other examples.A requirement for reading is a good contrast between letters and background (depending on colors of letters and background, any pattern or image in the background, and lighting) and a suitable font size. In the case of a computer screen, it is important to see an entire line of text without scrolling.The field of visual word recognition studies how people read individual words.JOURNAL, Cornelissen PL, Kringelbach ML, Ellis AW, Whitney C, Holiday IE, Hansen PC, Activation of the left inferior frontal gyrus in the first 200 ms of reading: evidence from magnetoencephalography (MEG), PLoS ONE, 4, 4, e5359, 2009, 19396362, 2671164, 10.1371/journal.pone.0005359, Aleman, André, Kringelbach, Ellis, Whitney, Holliday, Hansen, 2009PLoSO...4.5359C, JOURNAL, Wheat KL, Cornelissen PL, Frost SJ, Hansen PC, During visual word recognition, phonology is accessed within 100 ms and may be mediated by a speech production code: evidence from magnetoencephalography, Journal of Neuroscience, 30, 15, 5229–33, April 2010, 20392945, 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4448-09.2010, 3419470, Cornelissen, Frost, Hansen, JOURNAL, Nation K, Form-meaning links in the development of visual word recognition, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, 364, 1536, 3665–74, December 2009, 19933139, 10.1098/rstb.2009.0119, 2846312, A key technique in studying how individuals read text is eye tracking. This has revealed that reading is performed as a series of eye fixations with saccades between them. Humans also do not appear to fixate on every word in a text, but instead pause on some words mentally while their eyes are moving. This is possible because human languages show certain linguistic regularities.{{Citation needed|date=June 2010}}The process of recording information to read later is writing. In the case of computer and microfiche storage there is the separate step of displaying the written text. For humans, reading is usually faster and easier than writing.Reading is typically an individual activity, though on occasion a person reads out loud for other listeners. Reading aloud for one's own use, for better comprehension, is a form of intrapersonal communication: in the early 1970sJOURNAL, Pritchard SC, Coltheart M, Palethorpe S, Castles A, Nonword reading: comparing dual-route cascaded and connectionist dual-process models with human data, J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform, 38, 5, 1268–88, October 2012, 22309087, 10.1037/a0026703, has been proposed the dual-route hypothesis to reading aloud, accordingly to which there were two separate mental mechanisms, or cognitive routes, that are involved in this case, with output of both mechanisms contributing to the pronunciation of a written stimulus.JOURNAL, Coltheart, Max, Curtis, Brent, Atkins, Paul, Haller, Micheal, Models of reading aloud: Dual-route and parallel-distributed-processing approaches, Psychological Review, 1 January 1993, 100, 4, 589–608, 10.1037/0033-295X.100.4.589, JOURNAL, Yamada J, Imai H, Ikebe Y, The use of the orthographic lexicon in reading kana words, J Gen Psychol, 117, 3, 311–23, July 1990, 2213002, Reading to young children is a recommended way to instill language and expression, and to promote comprehension of text. Personalised books for children are recommended to improve engagement in reading by featuring the child themselves in the story.Before the reintroduction of separated text in the late Middle Ages, the ability to read silently was considered rather remarkable.WEB,weblink THE SILENT READERS, Alberto Manguel, Chapter 2 of A History of Reading (New York; Viking, 1996), 2013-06-20,

Reading skills

Literacy is the ability to use the symbols of a writing system. It is the ability to interpret what the information symbols represent, and re-create those same symbols so that others can derive the same meaning. Illiteracy is the inability to derive meaning from the symbols used in a writing system.Dyslexia refers to a cognitive difficulty with reading and writing. It is defined as brain-based type of learning disability that specifically impairs a person's ability to read.WEB, NINDS Dyslexia Information Page,weblink National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, November 12, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink July 27, 2016, yes, mdy-all, The term dyslexia can refer to two disorders: developmental dyslexiaJOURNAL, Heim S, Tschierse J, Amunts K, Cognitive subtypes of dyslexia, Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis, 68, 1, 73–82, 2008, 18389017,weblink 0065-1400, Tschierse, Amunts, Wilms, Vossel, Willmes, Grabowska, Huber, JOURNAL, Facoetti A, Auditory and visual automatic attention deficits in developmental dyslexia, Brain Res Cogn Brain Res, 16, 2, 185–91, April 2003, 12668226, 10.1016/S0926-6410(02)00270-7, vanc, Lorusso ML, Paganoni P, 3, Cattaneo, Carmen, Galli, Raffaella, Umiltà, Carlo, Mascetti, Gian Gastone, JOURNAL, Ahissar M, Dyslexia and the anchoring-deficit hypothesis, Trends Cogn. Sci. (Regul. Ed.), 11, 11, 458–65, November 2007, 17983834, 10.1016/j.tics.2007.08.015, JOURNAL, Chung KK, Ho CS, Chan DW, Tsang SM, Lee SH, Cognitive profiles of Chinese adolescents with dyslexia, Dyslexia, 16, 1, 2–23, February 2010, 19544588, 10.1002/dys.392,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink yes, 2010-03-05, Ho, Chan, Tsang, Lee, which is a learning disability. Alexia (acquired dyslexia) refers to reading difficulties that occur following brain damage, stroke, or progressive illness.JOURNAL, Cherney LR, Aphasia, alexia, and oral reading, Top Stroke Rehabil, 11, 1, 22–36, 2004, 14872397, 10.1310/VUPX-WDX7-J1EU-00TB, *JOURNAL, Temple CM, Developmental and acquired dyslexias, Cortex, 42, 6, 898–910, August 2006, 17131596, 10.1016/S0010-9452(08)70434-9, JOURNAL, Sinanović O, Mrkonjić Z, Zukić S, Vidović M, Imamović K, Post-stroke language disorders, Acta Clin Croat, 50, 1, 79–94, March 2011, 22034787, Mrkonjić, Zukić, Vidović, Imamović, Major predictors of an individual's ability to read both alphabetic and nonalphabetic scripts are phonological awareness, rapid automatized naming and verbal IQ.JOURNAL, Powell D, Stainthorp R, Stuart M, Garwood H, Quinlan P, An experimental comparison between rival theories of rapid automatized naming performance and its relationship to reading, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 98, 1, 46–68, September 2007, 17555762, 10.1016/j.jecp.2007.04.003, Stainthorp, Stuart, Garwood, Quinlan, Being taught to read at an early age (such as five years old) does not ultimately result in better reading skills, and if it replaces more developmentally appropriate activities, then it may cause other harms.NEWS,weblink Report: Requiring kindergartners to read — as Common Core does — may harm some, Strauss, Valerie, 13 January 2015, The Washington Post,

Reading rate

(File:Reading speed by age.jpg|thumb|Average reading rate in words per minute (wpm) depending on age and measured with different tests in English, French and German)Many studies show that increasing reading speed improves comprehension.WEB,weblink Reading Rate and Comprehension, Jodai, Hojat, August 2011, ERIC:ED523331, Reading speed requires a long time to reach adult levels. The table to the right shows how reading-rate varies with age,Im Auge des Lesers, foveale und periphere Wahrnehmung: vom Buchstabieren zur Lesefreude(2006), ppgs. 117. regardless of the period (1965 to 2005) and the language (English, French, German). The Taylor values probably are higher, for disregarding students who failed the comprehension test. The reading test by the French psychologist Pierre Lefavrais ("L'alouette", published in 1967) tested reading aloud, with a penalty for errors, and could, therefore, not be a rate greater than 150 wpm. According to Carver (1990), children's reading speed increases throughout the school years. On average, from grade 2 to college, reading rate increases 14 standard-length words per minute each year (where one standard-length word is defined as six characters in text, including punctuation and spaces).BOOK, Carver, Ronald P., Reading rate: a review of research and theory, Academic Press, Boston, 1990, 978-0-12-162420-0, Note that the data from Taylor (English) and Landerl (German) are based on texts of increasing difficulty; other data were obtained when all age groups were reading the same text.Rates of reading include reading for memorization (fewer than 100 words per minute [wpm]); reading for learning (100–200 wpm); reading for comprehension (200–400 wpm); and skimming (400–700 wpm). Reading for comprehension is the essence of the daily reading of most people. Skimming is for superficially processing large quantities of text at a low level of comprehension (below 50%).Advice for choosing the appropriate reading-rate includes reading flexibly, slowing when concepts are closely presented and when the material is new, and increasing when the material is familiar and of thin concept. Speed reading courses and books often encourage the reader to continually accelerate; comprehension tests lead the reader to believe his or her comprehension is continually improving; yet, competence-in-reading requires knowing that skimming is dangerous, as a default habit.{{Citation needed|date=June 2010}}Scientific studies have demonstrated that reading—defined here as capturing and decoding all the words on every page—faster than 900 wpm is not feasible given the limits set by the anatomy of the eye.BOOK, Bremer, Rod, The Manual: A Guide to the Ultimate Study Method, Fons Sapientiae Publishing, 978-0-9934964-0-0, 2,weblink 2016-01-20, Reading speed has been used as a measure in research to determine the effect of interventions on human vision. A Cochrane Systematic Review used reading speed in words per minute as the primary outcome in comparing different reading aids for adults with low vision.JOURNAL, Virgili G, Acosta R, Grover LL, Bentley SA, Giacomelli G, Reading aids for adults with low vision, Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 10, 10, CD003303, 2013, 24154864, 4288929, 10.1002/14651858.CD003303.pub3, Acosta, Grover, Bentley, Giacomelli, {{Update inline|reason=Updated versionweblink|date = July 2018}}

Skill development

File:Reading aloud LPB Laos.jpg|thumb|Addy Vannasy reads aloud to children at a village "Discovery Day" in Laos. Reading aloud is a common technique for improving literacy rates. Big Brother MouseBig Brother MouseBoth lexical and sub-lexical cognitive processes contribute to how we learn to read.Sub-lexical reading,JOURNAL, Borowsky R, Esopenko C, Cummine J, Sarty GE, Neural representations of visual words and objects: a functional MRI study on the modularity of reading and object processing, Brain Topogr, 20, 2, 89–96, 2007, 17929158, 10.1007/s10548-007-0034-1, Esopenko, Cummine, Sarty, JOURNAL, Borowsky R, Cummine J, Owen WJ, Friesen CK, Shih F, Sarty GE, FMRI of ventral and dorsal processing streams in basic reading processes: insular sensitivity to phonology, Brain Topogr, 18, 4, 233–9, 2006, 16845597, 10.1007/s10548-006-0001-2, Cummine, Owen, Friesen, Shih, Sarty, JOURNAL, Sanabria Díaz G, Changes in reading strategies in school-age children, Span J Psychol, 12, 2, 441–53, November 2009, 19899646, vanc, Torres Mdel R, Iglesias J, 3, Mosquera, R, Reigosa, V, Santos, E, Lage, A, Estévez, N, Galán, L, 10.1017/S1138741600001827, JOURNAL, Chan ST, Tang SW, Tang KW, Lee WK, Lo SS, Kwong KK, Hierarchical coding of characters in the ventral and dorsal visual streams of Chinese language processing, NeuroImage, 48, 2, 423–35, November 2009, 19591947, 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.06.078, Tang, Tang, Lee, Lo, Kwong, 10397/24142, involves teaching reading by associating characters or groups of characters with sounds or by using phonics or synthetic phonics learning and teaching methodology, which some argue is in competition with whole language methods.Lexical reading involves acquiring words or phrases without attention to the characters or groups of characters that compose them or by using whole language learning and teaching methodology. Some argue that this competes with phonics and synthetic phonics methods, and that the whole language approach tends to impair learning to spell.Other methods of teaching and learning to read have developed, and become somewhat controversial.BOOK, Feitelson, Dina, Facts and Fads in Beginning Reading: A Cross-Language Perspective, 1988, Ablex, Norwood, New Jersey, United States, 978-0-89391-507-0, {{Page needed|date=September 2010}}Learning to read in a second language, especially in adulthood, may be a different process than learning to read a native language in childhood.There are cases of very young children learning to read without having been taught.BOOK, Hughes, Diana, Stainthorp, Rhona, Learning from children who read at an early age, Routledge, New York, 1999, 978-0-415-17495-4, {{Page needed|date=September 2010}} Such was the case with Truman Capote who reportedly taught himself to read and write at the age of five. There are also accounts of people who taught themselves to read by comparing street signs or Biblical passages to speech. The novelist Nicholas Delbanco taught himself to read at age six during a transatlantic crossing by studying a book about boats.BOOK,weblink Writing it Down for James, Brown, Kurt, 1995, Beacon Press, 9780807063491, en, Brain activity in young and older children can be used to predict future reading skill. Cross model mapping between the orthographic and phonologic areas in the brain are critical in reading. Thus, the amount of activation in the left dorsal inferior frontal gyrus while performing reading tasks can be used to predict later reading ability and advancement. Young children with higher phonological word characteristic processing have significantly better reading skills later on than older children who focus on whole-word orthographic representation.JOURNAL, McNorgan C, Alvarez A, Bhullar A, Gayda J, Booth JR, Prediction of reading skill several years later depends on age and brain region: implications for developmental models of reading, The Journal of Neuroscience, 31, 26, 9641–8, June 2011, 21715629, 3147303, 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0334-11.2011, Alvarez, Bhullar, Gayda, Booth,

Methods of reading

File:EyeFixationsReading.gif|frame|left|Reading is an intensive process in which the eye quickly moves to assimilate text—seeing just accurately enough to interpret groups of symbols. It is necessary to understand visual perception and (Eye movement in language reading|eye movement]] to understand the reading process.BOOK, Hunziker, Hans-Werner, Im Auge des Lesers foveale und periphere Wahrnehmung: vom Buchstabieren zur Lesefreude (In the eye of the reader: foveal and peripheral perception - from letter recognition to the joy of reading), 2006, Transmedia Zurich, German, 978-3-7266-0068-6, {{Page needed|date=September 2010}}){{Clear}}There are several types and methods of reading, with differing rates that can be attained for each, for different kinds of material and purposes:
  • Subvocalized reading combines sight reading with internal sounding of the words as if spoken. Advocates of speed reading claim it can be a bad habit that slows reading and comprehension, but other studies indicate the reverse, particularly with difficult texts.BOOK, Moidel, Steve, Speed Reading for Business, Barron's Educational, Hauppauge, NY, 23–24, 978-0-7641-0401-5, 1998, BOOK, Rayner, Keith, Pollatsek, Alexander, The Psychology of Reading, Routledge, London, 1995, 192–194, 978-0-8058-1872-7,
  • Speed reading is a collection of methods for increasing reading speed without an unacceptable reduction in comprehension or retention. Methods include skimming or the chunking of words in a body of text to increase the rate of reading. It is closely connected to speed learning.
  • Incremental reading is a software-assisted reading method designed for long-term memorization. "Incremental reading" means "reading in portions": in each session, parts of several electronic articles are read inside a prioritized reading list. In the course of reading, important pieces of information are extracted and converted into flashcards, which are then reviewed by a spaced repetition algorithm.
  • Proofreading is a kind of reading for the purpose of detecting typographical errors. One can learn to do it rapidly, and professional proofreaders typically acquire the ability to do so at high rates, faster for some kinds of material than for others, while they may largely suspend comprehension while doing so, except when needed to select among several possible words that a suspected typographic error allows. A good proofreader needs to have a strong vocabulary and should be meticulous in his/her approach.
  • Rereading is reading a book more than once. "One cannot read a book: one can only reread it," Vladimir Nabokov once said.Patricia Meyer Spacks (2011). On Rereading, Harvard University Press. {{ISBN|978-0-674-06222-1}} A paper published in the Journal of Consumer Research (Cristel Antonia (2012)) found re-reading offers mental health benefits because it allows for a more profound emotional connection and self-reflection, versus the first reading, which is more focused on the events and plot.Rob Waugh. "Reading a book really is better the second time round - and can even offer mental health benefits", Daily Mail, 15 Feb 2012.
(File:Bookandpencil.png|thumb|250px|right|Many take notes while reading.)
  • Structure-proposition-evaluation (SPE) method, popularized by Mortimer Adler in How to Read a Book, mainly for non-fiction treatise, in which one reads a writing in three passes: (1) for the structure of the work, which might be represented by an outline; (2) for the logical propositions made, organized into chains of inference; and (3) for evaluation of the merits of the arguments and conclusions. This method involves suspended judgment of the work or its arguments until they are fully understood.{{Citation needed|date=June 2010}}
  • Survey-question-read-recite-review (SQ3R) method, often taught in public schools, which involves reading toward being able to teach what is read, and is appropriate for instructors preparing to teach material without referring to notes.
{{Citation needed|date=June 2010}}
  • Multiple intelligences-based methods, which draw on the reader's diverse ways of thinking and knowing to enrich appreciation of the text. Reading is fundamentally a linguistic activity: one can basically comprehend a text without resorting to other intelligences, such as the visual (e.g., mentally "seeing" characters or events described), auditory (e.g., reading aloud or mentally "hearing" sounds described), or even the logical intelligence (e.g., considering "what if" scenarios or predicting how the text will unfold based on context clues). However, most readers already use several kinds of intelligence while reading. Doing so in a more disciplined manner—i.e., constantly, or after every paragraph—can result in a more vivid, memorable experience.{{Citation needed|date=June 2010}}
  • Rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) reading involves presenting the words in a sentence one word at a time at the same location on the display screen, at a specified eccentricity. RSVP eliminates inter-word saccades, limits intra-word saccades, and prevents reader control of fixation times (Legge, Mansfield, & Chung, 2001).JOURNAL, Legge GE, Mansfield JS, Chung ST, Psychophysics of reading. XX. Linking letter recognition to reading speed in central and peripheral vision, Vision Research, 41, 6, 725–43, March 2001, 11248262, 10.1016/S0042-6989(00)00295-9, RSVP controls for differences in reader eye movement, and consequently is often used to measure reading speed in experiments.
Reading process is therefore a communication context.


Different types of reading tests exist:
  • Sight word reading: reading words of increasing difficulty until they become unable to read or understand the words presented to them. Difficulty is manipulated by using words that have more letters or syllables, are less common and have more complicated spelling–sound relationships.{{Citation needed|date=June 2010}}
  • Nonword reading: reading lists of pronounceable nonsense words out loud. The difficulty is increased by using longer words, and also by using words with more complex spelling or sound sequences.{{Citation needed|date=June 2010}}WEB,weblink Reading Assessment - K12 Academics, Chris, Glavin, 6 February 2014,
  • Reading comprehension: a passage is presented to the reader, which they must read either silently or out loud. Then a series of questions are presented that test the reader's comprehension of this passage.
  • Reading fluency: the rate with which individuals can name words.
  • Reading accuracy: the ability to correctly name a word on a page.
Some tests incorporate several of the above components at once. For instance, the Nelson-Denny Reading Test scores readers both on the speed with which they can read a passage, and also their ability to accurately answer questions about this passage.{{Citation needed|date=June 2010}} Recent research has questioned the validity of the Nelson-Denny Reading Test, especially with regard to the identification of reading disabilities.JOURNAL, Coleman C, Lindstrom J, Nelson J, Lindstrom W, Gregg KN, Passageless comprehension on the Nelson-Denny reading test: well above chance for university students, J Learn Disabil, 43, 3, 244–9, 2010, 19933897, 10.1177/0022219409345017, Lindstrom, Nelson, Lindstrom, Gregg,

Cognitive benefits

Reading books and writing are among brain-stimulating activities shown to slow down cognitive decline in old age, with people who participated in more mentally stimulating activities over their lifetimes having a slower rate of decline in memory and other mental capacities.WEB,weblink Being a Lifelong Bookworm May Keep You Sharp in Old Age, Koren, Marina, July 23, 2013, Smithsonian,weblink July 5, 2013, July 5, 2013, no, mdy-all, which cites JOURNAL, Life-span cognitive activity, neuropathologic burden, and cognitive aging, Wilson, Robert S., July 3, 2013, Neurology, 81, 4, 314–321, etal, mdy-all, 10.1212/WNL.0b013e31829c5e8a, 23825173, 3772831, Reading for pleasure has been linked to increased cognitive progress in vocabulary and mathematics during adolescence. WEB,weblink Reading for pleasure puts children ahead in the classroom, Centre for Longitudinal Studies, JOURNAL, 10.1002/berj.3180, Reading for pleasure and progress in vocabulary and mathematics, British Educational Research Journal, 41, 6, 971–991, 2015, Sullivan, Alice, Brown, Matt,weblink Sustained high volume lifetime reading has been associated with high levels of academic attainment. JOURNAL, Menadue, Christopher Benjamin, Jacups, Susan, 2018, Who Reads Science Fiction and Fantasy, and How Do They Feel About Science? Preliminary Findings From an Online Survey, SAGE Open, en, 8, 2, 215824401878094, 10.1177/2158244018780946, 2158-2440, Moreover, the cognitive benefits of reading continue into mid-life and old age.WEB,weblink Long term vocabulary benefits from 'reading for pleasure' in childhood, Centre for Longitudinal Studies, JOURNAL, Sullivan A., Brown M., 2015, Vocabulary from adolescence to middle age,weblink Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, 6, 2, 173–189, 10.14301/llcs.v6i2.310, JOURNAL, Bavishi A., Slade MD., Levy BR, 2016, A chapter a day: Association of book reading with longevity, Social Science & Medicine, 164, 44–48, 10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.07.014, 27471129, 5105607,


(File:Nigth reading.JPG|thumb|Night reading has benefits to calm the nerves by eliminating excess sound and vision stimulus resulting in better sleep.)


Reading from paper and from some screens requires more lighting than many other activities. Therefore, the possibility of doing this comfortably in cafés, restaurants, buses, at bus stops or in parks greatly varies depending on available lighting and time of day.Reading from screens that produce their own light does not depend on external light, except that external light may lessen visual fatigue. For controlling what is on the screen (scrolling, turning the page, etc.), a touch screen or keyboard illumination further reduces dependency on external light.


(File:Men reading the Koran in Umayyad Mosque, Damascus, Syria.jpg|thumb|Men reading)The history of reading dates back to the invention of writing during the 4th millennium BC. Although reading print text is now an important way for the general population to access information, this has not always been the case. With some exceptions, only a small percentage of the population in many countries was considered literate before the Industrial Revolution. Some of the pre-modern societies with generally high literacy rates included classical Athens and the Islamic Caliphate.JOURNAL, Delivering Education, Andrew J. Coulson, 117, Hoover Institution,weblink 2008-11-22, Scholars assume that reading aloud (Latin clare legere) was the more common practice in antiquity, and that reading silently (legere tacite or legere sibi) was unusual.Carruthers, Mary. 2008. The Book of Memory: A Study of Memory in Medieval Culture. 2nd. ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 212 ff.. In his Confessions, Saint Augustine remarks on Saint Ambrose's unusual habit of reading silently in the 4th century AD.Jajdelska, Elspeth. 2007. Silent Reading and the Birth of the Narrator. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, p. 5.During the Age of Enlightenment, elite individuals promoted passive reading, rather than creative interpretation. Reading has no concrete laws, but lets readers escape to produce their own products introspectively, promoting deep exploration of texts during interpretation. Some thinkers of that era believed that construction, or the creation of writing and producing a product, was a sign of initiative and active participation in society—and viewed consumption (reading) as simply taking in what constructors made. Also during this era, writing was considered superior to reading in society. They considered readers of that time passive citizens, because they did not produce a product. Michel de Certeau argued that the elites of the Age of Enlightenment were responsible for this general belief. Michel de Certeau believed that reading required venturing into an author's land, but taking away what the reader wanted specifically. This view held that writing was a superior art to reading within the hierarchical constraints of the era.In 18th-century Europe, the then new practice of reading alone in bed was, for a time, considered dangerous and immoral. As reading became less a communal, oral practice, and more a private, silent one—and as sleeping increasingly moved from communal sleeping areas to individual bedrooms, some raised concern that reading in bed presented various dangers, such as fires caused by bedside candles. Some modern critics, however, speculate that these concerns were based on the fear that readers—especially women—could escape familial and communal obligations and transgress moral boundaries through the private fantasy worlds in books.NEWS, Mavrody, Nika, The Dangers of Reading in Bed,weblink 23 May 2017, The Atlantic, 19 May 2017,


File:Lavery Maiss Auras.jpg|Miss Auras, by John Lavery, depicts a woman reading a bookFile:Riza-yi-Abbasi 008.jpg|Youth reading, Persian miniature by Reza Abbasi (1625-6)File:Fritz von Uhde - Das Bilderbuch I (1889).jpg|Girl Reading (1889), by Fritz von Uhde. Oil paint on canvasFile:Honoré Daumier 007.jpg|Reader, a painting by Honoré Daumier.

See also



Further reading

  • BOOK, Bainbridge, Joyce, Malicky, Grace, Constructing meaning: balancing elementary language arts, Harcourt, Toronto Canada, 2000, 978-0-7747-3660-2,
  • JOURNAL, Banai K, Hornickel J, Skoe E, Nicol T, Zecker S, Kraus N, Reading and subcortical auditory function, Cerebral Cortex, 19, 11, 2699–707, November 2009, 19293398, 10.1093/cercor/bhp024, 2758683,
  • BOOK, Bulling, Andreas, Ward, Jamie A., Gellersen, Hans, Tröster, Gerhard, Robust Recognition of Reading Activity in Transit Using Wearable Electrooculography, Pervasive Computing, Springer Berlin / Heidelberg, 2008, 19–37, 10.1007/978-3-540-79576-6_2, 978-3-540-79575-9,,
  • BOOK, Burke, Peter, Briggs, Asa, A social history of the media: from Gutenberg to the Internet, Polity, Cambridge, UK, 2002, 978-0-7456-2375-7,
  • JOURNAL, Castles A, Coltheart M, Wilson K, Valpied J, Wedgwood J, The genesis of reading ability: what helps children learn letter-sound correspondences?, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 104, 1, 68–88, September 2009, 19268301, 10.1016/j.jecp.2008.12.003,
  • JOURNAL, Devlin JT, Jamison HL, Gonnerman LM, Matthews PM, The role of the posterior fusiform gyrus in reading, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 18, 6, 911–22, June 2006, 16839299, 1524880, 10.1162/jocn.2006.18.6.911,
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