The psychology of reading for pleasure: Needs and gratifications

Nell, Victor
January 1988
Reading Research Quarterly;Winter1988, Vol. 23 Issue 1, p6
Academic Journal
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.


Related Articles

  • Summary of investigations relating to reading, July 1, 1972, to June 30, 1973. Weintraub, Samuel; Robinson, Helen M.; Smith, Helen K.; Roser, Nancy L. // Reading Research Quarterly;1973/1974, Vol. 9 Issue 3, p247 

    SUMMARIZES 369 reports of reading research published between July 1, 1972, and June 30, 1973. The research studies are categorized into 6 main areas, 4 of which have been further subcategorized. As in past years, the majority of studies reported was classified into 2 of the 6 major categories:...

  • Utilizing Reading Opportunities in the Entire Curriculum. Smith, Nila Banton // Education;May1952, Vol. 72 Issue 9, p579 

    The article presents the research on the common elements used in reading different kinds of subject matter for different purposes. Reading should be taught during special periods set aside for the purpose of giving the child control over the skills of reading. The research shows that children...

  • A Study of the Correlations among Reading Frequency, Participation in Reading Environments and Reading Attitude. Keskin, Hasan Kagan; Bastug, Muhammet // International Journal of Social Sciences & Education;2014, Vol. 4 Issue 3, p560 

    The present study was designed to measure the extent to which the reading frequencies of the mother, father and child affect the child's participation in reading environments and the extent to which participation in reading environments influences the child's development of an academic and...

  • Word length and word shape as sources of information in reading. Haber, Lyn R.; Haber, Ralph Norman; Furlin, Karen R. // Reading Research Quarterly;Winter1983, Vol. 18 Issue 2, p165 

    COLLEGE STUDENTS were asked to read passages presented one or two lines at a time and ending randomly in the middle of a sentence. They had to guess the next word. Then more of the text appeared, ending again in the middle of a sentence, and again requiring a guess at the next word, and so...

  • TEACHING READING to the PARTIALLY SEEING CHILD. Cohoe, Edith // Exceptional Children;Sep1960, Vol. 27 Issue 1, p11 

    The article focuses on the study that deals with enriching the reading ability of a partially seeing child in the U.S. The ability to read is especially important to a partially seeing child because reading can help the child understand the situation being a handicap and how to cope with the...

  • A Plea for Reading. Reilly, B. J. // America;12/7/1918, Vol. 20 Issue 9, p207 

    The article provides a comparison on the quality and worth reading between old books and modern books in the U.S. Some books have supplied amusement, comfortable and comprehensive culture. It views that there are some books that have stood the test of time, meaning they are worth reading. The...

  • Updating Appeal—Language and Style. Saricks, Joyce // Booklist;3/1/2013, Vol. 109 Issue 13, p19 

    The article focuses on how the language and style of a book can impact its overall appeal to readers. The author discusses how these elements influence a reader's experience, explores how stylistic complexity can appeal to a broad audience, and analyzes stylistic flourishes that can impact the...

  • A measure of information gained during prose learning. Coleman, E. B.; Miller, G. R. // Reading Research Quarterly;Spring1968, Vol. 3 Issue 3, p369 

    REPORTS A NEW MEASURE of readability which measures the efficiency with which a passage transmits new information. Two attempts were made to measure IG (Information Gain): 1] Method I, based on ordinary doze techniques, allowed subjects to utilize bilateral constraint; and 2] Method II, based on...

  • Resistance, struggle, and the adolescent reader.  // Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy;Oct2006, Vol. 50 Issue 2, p136 

    The article offers a look at how teachers can encourage students who are resistant to reading. The author recommends allowing students more choice and respecting their extra-curricular reading choices. The author questions the literature on adolescent resistance to reading and how it contributes...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics