Practices and Technologies across Two Reading Revolutions

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We propose a socially and materially embedded discussion of reading in the digital age, expanding the scope of discussion from the substrate of the text (printed or digital) to the ways in which readers relate to them in technologies around reading (such as reading furniture) and practices (such as reading aloud or establishing privacy while reading). Reading books, as we shall see when we place examples from the eighteenth century next to examples from the twenty-first, is not an activity that only comes to be realised in the immersive posture of the silent reader. Instead, the digital revolution gives rise to a variety of practices, just as the reading revolution had in the 1700s. It might well be the potential for enabling different reading practices, public and private, which is decisive for the success of both analogue and digital reading devices.