Talk About Books : A Study of Reading Groups

PEPLOW, David (2016). Talk About Books : A Study of Reading Groups. Bloomsbury Academic.

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Reading is typically thought of as something we do privately: a solitary pleasure. Over the last twenty years, however, the number of people discussing their reading in ritualised group settings has greatly increased. These reading groups offer members the chance to get together in a public forum to discuss a book that all members (should) have read. This book offers an in-depth consideration of several UK reading groups. These groups were observed, audio-recorded and interviewed over several months. In this book, the community practices of these groups are discussed and the talk produced by readers is analysed. The communities of practice model is applied to the reading groups, and provides a way of considering how group and personal identity is produced, how tasks are oriented to, and how shared discourses are produced in the groups. The main analysis chapters in this book focus on how reading groups organise talk, how reported discourse is used when readers discuss characters, and how readers in this setting draw on aspects of their own lives in their interpretations of literary texts. This study shows that the interpretations offered by the readers can be a product of the shared norms and shared discourses of a group, and that the history of the group and its members is always relevant.

Item Type: Authored Book
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Humanities Research Centre
Depositing User: David Peplow
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2016 08:21
Last Modified: 27 Jan 2018 21:38

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