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Talk About Books: A Study of Reading Groups (Paperback)
  • Talk About Books: A Study of Reading Groups (Paperback)
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Talk About Books: A Study of Reading Groups (Paperback)

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£31.99
Paperback 208 Pages / Published: 24/08/2017
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Over the last two decades, reading groups have become increasingly popular in the UK and the USA. More and more people seem to be interested in sharing their reading experiences and hearing other readers discuss their views on books, whether this is online, through the mass media, or in face-to-face contexts. In light of this explosion in popularity of reading groups, this ethnographic study focuses on several reading groups based across a variety of settings: public libraries, public houses and in readers' homes. A range of methods are used to investigate the practices of the individual readers and the groups, including participant observation, interviews, and audio-recordings of meetings. Reading groups are found to be highly ritualized and potentially competitive places in which matters of identity and taste are often at stake. The groups studied are conceptualized as communities of practice, and the literary interpretations and evaluations offered within each group are shown to be a product of shared norms established by this group.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781350045538
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 304 g


MEDIA REVIEWS
Peplow demonstrates detailed analysis of spoken language ... The critical evaluation of CoP [communities of practice] and CA [conversation analysis] in this book is insightful and would be useful for researchers and postgraduate students who are considering using these approaches to analyse their data. * Discourse Studies *
In this detailed and insightful exploration of book group discussions, David Peplow explores the sometimes collaborative, sometimes antagonistic experience of what it means to be a book group member. Working with the fine-grained detail of transcripts of talk, he demonstrates (rather than simply asserts) some of the rhetorical and interactional strategies by which speakers manage their entitlements and obligations as members, how they work up collective readings and judgements, and how reading practices are both revealed and negotiated through interaction. A valuable contribution to the growing scholarship on book groups, Peplow's text offers particular insight into the order and norms of the book group as a community of practice. -- Bethan Benwell, Senior Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics, University of Stirling, UK
Over the last decade, conversation analysis has emerged as the most rigorous and systematic means of studying the things people say about books. Its full power is brought to bear on the speech of four British reading groups in this fascinating study, which should be read by everyone who has an interest in real readers - and is willing to wave farewell to that speculative sacred cow, the 'reader' known to stylistics and literary criticism. -- Daniel Allington, Associate Professor, Department of Arts and Cultural Industries, UWE Bristol

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