TITLE

The psychology of reading for pleasure: Needs and gratifications

AUTHOR(S)
Nell, Victor
PUB. DATE
January 1988
SOURCE
Reading Research Quarterly;Winter1988, Vol. 23 Issue 1, p6
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Spontaneous pleasure reading (ludic reading) deserves attention for at least two, reasons: It is an important goal of reading instruction, and it offers rewards that are powerful enough both to sustain reading for long periods and to support a large publishing industry. Because the needs it satisfies and the gratifications it offers have received little attention, the author undertook a series of five studies over a 6-year period in order to investigate the antecedents of ludic reading and its consequences. The five studies consider (1) reading ability and reading habits, (2) reader speed variability during natural reading, (3) reader rankings of books for preference, merit, and difficulty, (4) the physiology of ludic reading, and (5) the sovereignty of the reading ,experience. Among the findings were that there is :substantial rate variability during natural reading, with most-liked pages being read significantly slower; that the Fog index of readability predicts readers' preference and difficulty rankings, but that a cloze measure does neither; that, in keeping with the Protestant ethic, readers perceive literary merit to be inversely related to reading pleasure; that :reading is physiologically more aroused than other waking activities, and is succeeded by marked physiological deactivation; that readers greatly prize the control they exercise over their reading: and that many :reading rewards are mediated by consciousness-change mechanisms that may have an analog in hypnotic trance.
ACCESSION #
21158813

 

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