A Different Reading in Imagined Communities

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  • Title: A Different Reading in Imagined Communities: How Books Shaped Nationalities
  • Author(s): Andrej Blatnik
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Information, Medium & Society
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of the Book
  • Keywords: Imagined Communities, Reading Habits, Book Sales
  • Volume: 14
  • Issue: 4
  • Year: 2016
  • ISSN: 1447-9516 (Print)
  • ISSN: 1447-9567 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/1447-9516/CGP/v14i04/31-35
  • Citation: Blatnik, Andrej. 2016. "A Different Reading in Imagined Communities: How Books Shaped Nationalities." The International Journal of the Book 14 (4): 31-35. doi:10.18848/1447-9516/CGP/v14i04/31-35.
  • Extent: 5 pages


Reading is one of the crucial elements in the formation of “imagined communities,” a concept coined by Benedict Anderson in 1983. The concept extends from forming the nations to establishing various communities of interest. In the era of digital communication, the importance of privileged access to printed media is declining, while on the other hand, the abundance of information is turning the freedom of choice into a burden of choice. How do these changes affect the reading behavior of a specific “imagined community”? This article compares the results of reading habit research carried out in one of the smaller European countries between 1973 and 2014. The results are interpreted through the changes in economic, political, and social context of the last four decades. It also tackles the obvious question: Will the changes in reading habits also change the perception of community?