Is a rose is a rose is a rose? With all due respects to Gertrude Stein,
of course not. And so it is with reading as well. Children who learn to
read in the first grade may get the impression that the process of reading
is the process of identifying letters as components of sounds which in
turn join together to construct words that make up sentences in ever expanding
paragraphs of meaning. But reading is much more than the skill of identifying
symbols on a page. It includes the ability to understand the meaning of
those symbols in a particular context, and to interact with the text in
such a way that we take from it both its intended meaning and the meanings
that only we, as particular and individual readers, can find in that text.
A conception of reading as this sort of process almost presupposes hypertext
as a logical means of writing.
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