Reading style is just a general term I made up for the way an individual reads. It may change over time, varying with personal taste, and with reading material. Most people don’t read Shakespeare the same way they read the phone book, to give an obvious example.

Features of reading styles that I’d like to study include reading speed, attention, short- and long-term memory of what is read, and so on. Even more interesting (but more difficult to quantify) are reading behaviors like

  • skimming (in particular, speeding forward and skipping back through the pages of a book, which Jongleur and I both do, making it hard for us to read over each others’ shoulders)

  • whether a reader visualizes what is read or imagines listening to someone read it to them. I had a friend in middle school who used to invent voices for all the characters in the books she read, and it made for very interesting discussion of reading.

I’m very interested in how these and other behaviors vary with subject material, especially with regard to readers’ expertise in different fields (—the differences between novice and expert thinking are important to theories of learning). I’d also like to integrate psychological research about how reading is affected by the presentation of text (optimal line length, font and page size, and maybe how scrolling down a page is different from turning pages).

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