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The Book as a Reader's Experience


Watch the video then read the materials for this section.

In the article What is the History of Books?, Darnton (1982, 78) described the role of the reader as integral to the "communication circuit". He asks questions such as "how do readers make sense of the signs on the printed page? What are the social effects of that experience? And how has it varied?" Darnton (1982, 80) notes that

"questions about who reads what, in what conditions, at what time, and with what effect, link reading studies with sociology."

In The Order of Books: Readers, Authors, and Libraries in Europe Between the Fourteenth and Eighteenth Centuries, Roger Chartier 1994, (viii) states that

"reading, by definition, is rebellious and vagabond. Readers use infinite numbers of subterfuges to procure prohibited books, to read between the lines, and to subvert the lessons imposed on them."

This section of the course is divided into six sections:


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