Worlds of Read­ing

Reading is one of humanity’s fundamental cultural techniques. Anyone who does not gain access to the world of letters and symbols remains to a great extent without orientation, especially in the world of today. Reading has always been subject to change throughout history, is influenced by social factors and is very different in character depending on medium, written form, ability of the reader, as well as purpose and circumstances of the reading material. Reading is used for entertainment, to gain knowledge, to escape everyday life, to obtain information, for comfort and religious devotion, to explain the world we live in and to be sociable. It often involves spoken communication such as reading out loud, telling stories and singing. Reading figures and symbols has always played a significant role, from the very beginning until the present day.

Every reader has his own reasons for choosing a particular text. While believers seek to fathom the mysteries of faith by reading, the scholar proceeds by commenting and underlining his way through the text in question. Those seeking advice hope that a book will help them cope with life, while others look for information, diversion and entertainment in what they read. Not only books have adapted in form and content over time to meet these needs. The reader has also changed. Whether immersed in a story, reading with a critical eye, rehearsing, reading or discussing out loud – the reader always seeks out an appropriate place for the reading purpose in mind.