Many representatives across the publishing fields describe the present editions of e-books as poorly designed and not fully exploring the new media potential. The Swedish researcher in comparative literature, Alexandra Borg (she has written extensively about digital reading, e-books and the digital turn in publishing), describes the situation in the newspaper SVD “The reason why e-books are poorly designed is easy. The software for producing e-books is limited. These programs are often open source, free to use and therefore not very advanced.” In 2015 I initiated The Reading School, as we began to investigate the act of reading – in this context ‘reading’ means reading text, images and our surroundings as well. Reading in our part of the world is often associated with the book as one unit. In my investigation I’m focusing on new upcoming technology in order to find different ways of mediate and re-mediate content. The group of invited guests meets up three times a year to examine practical experiment together with experts within the field.

The website is developed and edited by Hanna Bergman.
Thanks to Mai Boline Bjerre and Alexandra Borg
for reviewing the work. Programming by Thibault Brevet.


Dantespads, 4, 5th
1556 Copenhagen V

Click on the titles and view a ‘Full text’, ‘Text excerpt’ or ‘Recommended text’…

How to read:
alt 1. Buy the paper book or ebook
alt 2. If it is an ebook read it on optional devices (desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone) or print it and read on A4 paper

References by Alexandra Borg:
Brutna ryggar (Full text). Biblis, 2014.
Exit codex (Full text). Nordisk Tidsskrift for Informationsvidenskab og Kulturformidling, årg. 2, nr. 2, 2013.
Läsning i den digitala tidsåldern (Full text). Makadam förlag, 2013.
Lättläst, kortläst, snabbläst (Full text). Tidskrift för litteraturvetenskap, Vol 43, Nr 2, 2013.
Nej, pappersboken är inte “bättre” (Full text). Svenska Dagbladet, 2015.


References (sources from Harvard University):
(heavily biased toward Western Europe and America)

Digital media:
Brown, J. S. The Social Life of Learning (Full text). Continuing Higher Education Review, Vol. 66, 2002.

Gitelman, Lisa. Always Already New: Media, History, and the Data of Culture (Full text). MIT Press, 2006.

Hayles, N. Katherine. Writing Machines (Full text). MIT Press, 2002.

Kirsch, Adam. Technology Is Taking Over English Departments: The false promise of the digital humanities (Full text). New Republic, 2014.

Kirschenbaum, M. G. Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination (Full text). MIT Press, 2008.

Manovich, Lev. The Language of New Media (Full text). MIT Press, 2002.

McGann, J. J. A New Republic of Letters (Recommended ebook). Harvard University Press, 2014.

McLuhan, Marshall. The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man (Text excerpt). University of Toronto Press, 1962.

Histories of the field:
Rubin, Joan. What Is the History of the History of Books? (Recommended text). Journal of American History 90.2, 2003: 555–75.

National histories:
Amory, Hugh and Hall, David D. A History of the Book in America (Text excerpt). Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Gries, Zeev. The book in the Jewish world: 1700–1900 (Recommended book). Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2007.

Ed. Hacker, Joseph and Shear, Adam. The Hebrew book in early modern Italy (Recommended book). 2011.

Ed. Martin, Henri Jean; Chartier, Roger and Vivet, Jean-Pierre. Histoire de l’édition francaise (Recommended book). [Paris]: Promodis, 1983.

McKenzie, D. F. and Barnard, John. The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain. 4 vol (Text excerpt). Cambridge University Press, 1998-.

Ed. Lyons, Martyn and Arnold, John. A History of the Book in Australia, 1891–1945: A National Culture in a Colonised Market (Recommended book). University of Queensland Press, 2001.

Ed. Lockhart Fleming, Patricia and Lamonde, Yvan. History of the book in Canada. v. 1. Beginnings to 1840 / edited by Patricia Lockhart Fleming, Gilles Gallichan and Yvan Lamonde – v. 2. 1840–1918 / edited by Yvan Lamonde, Patricia Lockhart Fleming and Fiona A. Black – v. 3. 1918–1980 / edited by Carole Gerson and Jacques Michon. (Recommended books).

Edited collections:
Ed. Caspar, Scott E. et al. University of Massachusetts Press, with American Antiquarian Society and Center for the Book. 
Perspectives on American Book History: Artifacts and Commentary (Text excerpt). Library of Congress, 2002.

Ed. Eliot, Simon and Rose, Jonathan. Companion to the History of the Book (Text excerpt). Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.

Howsam, L. The Cambridge Companion to the History of the Book (Full text). Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Ed. Nunberg, Geoffrey. The Future of the Book (Text excerpt). University of California Press, 1996.

Ed. Lerer, Seth and Price, Leah. “The History of the Book and the Idea of Literature” (Recommended text). Special issue of PMLA 121.1, Jan 2006.

Lurz, John Henry. Reading Volumes: The Book, the Body and the Mediation of Modernism (Full text). University of California, 2011.

Ed. Raven, James, et. al. The Practice and Representation of Reading in England (Text excerpt). Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Suarez, M. F. and Woudhuysen, H. R. The Oxford companion to the book (Full text). Oxford University Press, 2010.

Ed. Woodmansee, Martha and Jaszi, Peter. The Construction of Authorship: Textual Appropriation in Law and Literature (Text excerpt). Duke University Press, 1994.

Chartie, Roger. Laborers and Voyagers: From the Text to the Reader (Full text). Diacritics 22.2: 49-61, 1992.

Cressy, David. Literacy and the Social Order: Reading and Writing in Tudor and Stuart England (Text excerpt). Cambridge University Press, 1980.

Vincent, David. Literacy and Popular Culture: England 1750–1914 (Text excerpt). Cambridge University Press, 1989.

Allen, James Smith. In the Public Eye: A History of Reading in Modern France, 1800–1940 (Full text). Princeton University Press, 1991.

Chartier, Roger and Cavallo, Guglielmo. A History of Reading in the West (Recommended book). 1999.

Châtel, Laurent. The Resistance of Words and the Challenge of Images: Visual Writing in Late Eighteenth-Century Britain. Université Paris-Sorbonne, 2012.

Ed. Davidson, Cathy. Reading in America: Literature and Social History (Recommended book). Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989.

Flint, Kate. The Woman Reader, 1837–1914 (Recommended book). Clarendon Press, 1993.

Groenke, Susan L. and Maples, Joellen. Young Adult Literature Goes Digital: Will Teen Reading Ever Be the Same? The ALAN Review, 2010.

Carruthers, Mary. The book of memory: a study of memory in medieval culture (Recommended book). CUP, 1990.

Clanchy, Michael. From Memory to Written record: England, 1066–1207 (Recommended book). HUP, 2012.

Ezell, Margaret. Social Authorship and the advent of print (Recommended book). 1999.

Hall, David D. Ways of Writing: The Practice and Politics of Text-Making in Seventeenth-Century New England (Text excerpt). 2008.

Hobbins, Daniel. Authorship and publicity before print: Jean Gerson and the transformation of late medieval learning (Recommended book). University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009.

Love, Harold. The Culture and Commerce of Texts: Scribal Publication in Seventeenth Century England (Text excerpt). 1998.

Rouse, Mary and Richard. Authentic Witnesses: approaches to medieval texts and manuscripts (Recommended book). University of Notre Dame Press, 1991.

Printing and publishing:
Eisenstein, Elizabeth. Some Conjectures about the Impact of Printing on Western Society and Thought: A Preliminary Report (Full text). Journal of Modern History 40.1, 1–56, 1968.

Feather, John. A History of British Publishing (Text excerpt). Routledge, 2006, c. 1988.

Raven, James. The Business of Books: Booksellers and the English Book Trade, 1450–1850 (Recommended book). Yale University Press, 2007.

Beyond the West:
Berry, Mary Elizabeth. Japan in Print: info and nation in the Early Modern period (Full text). 2006.

Bloom, Jonathan M. Paper before print. The history and impact of paper in the islamic world (Recommended book). Yale University Press, 2001.

Brokaw, Cynthia. Printing and book culture in late imperial china (Book excerpt). 2005.

Hanna, Nelly. Praise of books: a cultural history of Cairo’s middle class (Book excerpt). Syracuse University Press, 2003.

Kornicki, Peter. Book in Japan: A Cultural History from the Beginnings to the Nineteenth Century (Recommended book), 2000.

Pedersen, Johannes. The Arabic book (Recommended book). Trans. Geoffrey French. Princeton University Press, 1984.

Reader-response and reception theory:
Certeau, Michel de. The Practice of Everyday Life (Full text). Trans. Steven F. Rendell. University of California Press, 1984.

Gumbrecht, Hans Ulrich. Making Sense in Life and Literature (Recommended book). Trans. Glen Burns. Chapter 1 “The Consequences of an Aesthetic of Reception.” University of Minnesota Press, 14–32, 1992.

Iser, Wolfgang. Prospecting: from Reader Response to Literary Anthropology (Recommended book). Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989.

Ed. Suleiman, Susan and Crosman, Inge. The Reader in the Text: Essays on Audience and Interpretation (Recommended book). Princeton University Press, 2014.

Ed. Tompkins, Jane. Reader-Response Criticism: From Formalism to Post-Structuralism (Recommended book). Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980. See especially:
Wolfgang Iser, “Interaction Between Text and Reader,” 106–19.
Gerald Prince, “Notes on the Text as Reader,” 225–40.
Jonathan Culler, “Prolegomena to a Theory of Reading,” 46–66.
Tzvetan Todorov, “Reading as Construction,” 67–82.

Literary sociology:
Altick, Richard. The English Common Reader: A Social History of the Mass Reading Public, 1800–1900 (Recommended book). University of Chicago Press, 1998, c. 1957.

Bourdieu, Pierre, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste (Full text). Trans. Richard Nice. Harvard University Press, 1984.

Ed. Desan, Phillippe, et. al. Literature and Social Practice (Text excerpt). University of Chicago Press, 1989.

Mckenzie, D. F. Bibliography and the Sociology of Texts (Text excerpt). The British Library, 1985.

Bibliography and textual editing:
McGann, Jerome J. Critique of Modern Textual Criticism (Text excerpt). University of Chicago Press, 1983.

Gaskell, Philip. A New Introduction to Bibliography (Recommended book). New Castle, Delaware & Winchester: Oak Knoll Press & St. Paul’s Bibliographies, 2009.

Greetham, David C. Textual Scholarship: An Introduction (Text excerpt). Garland, 1994.

Greetham, David C. Theories of the Text (Recommended text). Oxford University Press, 1999.

“Läsförståelse är inte läserfarenhet. Det är en sak att förstå, i bemärkelsen kognitivt avkoda en text, en annan att uppleva och tolka den. […] Forskarsamhället har dock inget svar på om och varför läsupplevelser av tryckta respektive digitala texter skiljer sig åt, liksom till vilken grad textens formgivning påverkar innehållet. Fler djupgående studier är därför angelägna.”

“In the last three or four years, I’ve moved from focusing on becoming a better learner to spending more time learning how to unlearn. My conceptual eyeglasses limit my ability to understand something that is deeply different. And so in the age of discontinuity we have to be very much aware of how our own lenses create a form of tunnel vision. We must learn new strategies to overcome the tendency to interpret the world with narrowly construed assumptions even if they worked for us in the past. I guess this is a twenty-first century twist to what Dewey always claimed about the critical need for an educated public if a democracy is going to be effective.”

“This book is an original and fascinating look at the topos of the woman reader and its functioning in cultural debate between the accession of Queen Victoria and the First World War. The issue of women and reading – what they should read; what they should be protected from; how, what, and when they should read – was the focus of lively discussion in the nineteenth century in a wide range of media. Flint uses recent feminist analyses of how women read as a context for her detailed and readable study of these debates, exploring in a variety of texts – from magazines like Woman’s World and My Lady’s Novelette to works of literature like Jane Eyre and The Portrait of a Lady – the range of stereotypes and directives addressed to women readers, and their influence on the writing of fiction. She also looks at how women readers of all classes understood their own reading experiences.”