A Different Reading in Imagined Communities: How Books Shaped Nationalities

By Andrej Blatnik.

Published by The International Journal of Books, Publishing, and Libraries

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: November 3, 2016 $US5.00

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?

Keywords: Imagined Communities, Reading Habits, Book Sales

The International Journal of the Book, Volume 14, Issue 4, December 2016, pp.31-35. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: November 3, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 530.970KB)).

Andrej Blatnik

Associate Professor at the Department of Library and Information Science and Book Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia