Reading the Evidence of Reading



Halsey K (2008) Reading the Evidence of Reading. Popular Narrative Media, 1 (2), pp. 123-137.

This article considers the methodological questions involved in interpreting anecdotal evidence of reading habits and practices. Through a study of the different types of evidence collected by the Reading Experience Database project (including diaries, letters, autobiographies, memoirs and marginalia), I discuss the ways in which anecdotal evidence can be used in the history of the book, and in its sub-discipline, the history of reading. I suggest that the history of reading is also the history of the relationship of books to the social world, and I consider the ways in which information about an individual's reading can shed light not only on the historical act of reading, but also on the various agencies and networks that permitted and shaped that act. I finish by discussing the cultural pressures involved in the recording of individual reading.

Popular Narrative Media: Volume 1, Issue 2

Publication date31/10/2008
PublisherLiverpool University Press

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Professor Katherine Halsey

Professor Katherine Halsey

Professor, English Studies