From codex to hypertext: reading at the turn of the twenty-first century

Anouk Lang

Research output: Book/ReportAnthology

14 Citations (Scopus)


The start of the twenty-first century has brought with it a rich variety of ways in which readers can connect with one another, access texts, and make sense of what they are reading. At the same time, new technologies have also opened up exciting possibilities for scholars of reading and reception in offering them unprecedented amounts of data on reading practices, book buying patterns, and book collecting habits.
In From Codex to Hypertext, scholars from multiple disciplines engage with both of these strands. This volume includes essays that consider how changes such as the mounting ubiquity of digital technology and the globalization of structures of publication and book distribution are shaping the way readers participate in the encoding and decoding of textual meaning. Contributors also examine how and why reading communities cohere in a range of contexts, including prisons, book clubs, networks of zinesters, state-funded programs designed to promote active citizenship, and online spaces devoted to sharing one’s tastes in books.

As concerns circulate in the media about the ways that reading—for so long anchored in print culture and the codex—is at risk of being irrevocably altered by technological shifts, this book insists on the importance of tracing the historical continuities that emerge between these reading practices and those of previous eras.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAmherst, MA
Number of pages272
Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2012

Publication series

NameStudies in Print Culture and the History of the Book
PublisherUniversity of Massachusetts Press


  • codex
  • hypertext
  • reading
  • twenty-first century
  • digital technology
  • globalization
  • reading practices
  • book collecting habits
  • book buying patterns


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