book surprise

like surprises?

well, phylameana lila désy, the intrepid mistress of the carnival of healing, just got one.

would you like one, too?

what surprise, you ask?

errrrr … not gonna tell you. not just now.

i will tell you it has something to do with books.

so let’s talk about books and reading. did you know that when you google “psychology of reading”, you get 45,500 hits?

here are some tidbits from that field of research:

speed reading is bunk
claims researcher gordon legge. there’s an upper limit to how much the eye can read per minute – around 300 words per minute.

i’d like to find out more about that. reading fast involves more than just reading word for word – an important aspect of it is also scanning for target words to make split-decisions regarding whether a sentence, paragraph or word is worth reading. great for reading scientific journals. totally not recommended for dostoevsky.

reading for pleasure
in lost in a book: the psychology of reading for pleasure, victor nell from the university of south africa mapped different levels in readers’ change of consciousness, from absorption all the way to entrancement.

from the cover: “bookworms will enjoy his discussions of mass reading tastes, how readers choose material, the spellbinding powers of narrative, and the ways reading resembles dreaming, hypnosis and fantasy.”

the place where sentences go when they are understood
theories of reading are aplenty. for example, there is gough’s “one second” or TPWSGWTAU model (“the place where sentences go when they are understood”), involving all kinds of metaphorical characters, from the “scanner” – the initial visual-perceptual process of simply seeing a sentence, to the “editor” who puts it all together and makes meaning of it. (thanks, atanu, for refreshing my memory on this)

psychology of reading at microsoft
and here is fontblog, the team blog by microsoft’s typology experts. team psychologist kevin larson brings up something that i, as a poet, often think about: punctuation. punctuation helps immensely in setting the tone of any piece of writing. here, larson advocates for the introduction of an irony mark.

of course, the more we use online communication, the more we can use emoticons (yes, but what is the emoticon for irony?) it reminds me of an idea i’ve been carrying around for decades now – to set a series of poems to musical notations such as adagio, sostenuto or traurig.

oh, you’re wondering about the surprise? all will be revealed tomorrow.

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