A cultural practice

By Vincent Quinn



  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-3694-7
  • Pages: 224
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: June 2020
  • BIC Category: Literature, LITERARY CRITICISM / Modern / 21st Century, LITERARY CRITICISM / General, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: general, Literature & literary studies / Literary theory, Literature & literary studies / Literature: history & criticism
  • Series: Manchester University Press


Why do we read, and have we always read in the same way? Reading: A cultural practice uses a rich variety of literary and visual sources to explore how reading has changed, and continues to change, in response to new technologies and shifting social pressures. Drawing on medieval illustrations, classic fiction, the art and literature of the Bloomsbury Group, and contemporary e-culture, the book shows that there is no single, unchanging thing called 'reading'-instead, it is something that mutates over time. Throughout history, ways of reading, and theories of reading, have been shaped by religious and educational institutions. This continues to be true, but current approaches to reading are also conditioned by debates over digital culture and social media use. Reading: A cultural practice re-frames these contemporary preoccupations by offering a long view on how our notions of books and reading alter according to social and historical context.


1: The Time and Place of Reading
2: The Common Reader
3: The Close Reader and the Good Citizen
4: Reading and Postmodernity
5: The Futures of Reading


Vincent Quinn is a Research Fellow in English at the University of Sussex

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