Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
To understand a work of fiction, one has to make believe that one is in the created world. This act of imagination can be considered play. To competent readers, the purpose in reading is enjoyment, often gained by exercising not only the imagination but also the intellect, as the reader solves the problems presented by the plot. Infants and young children follow the same processes when listening to stories read aloud. Readers of fiction can become lost in the story, immersed in it in an almost trance-like way, so that the external world does not intrude or is kept at bay. Victor Nell's term for these self-described compulsive readers is ludic readers . Readers identify with characters, living through the imagined person's experiences in the plot while absorbed in the story, and perhaps asking themselves how they would behave in the particular situation. However, they also take characters away from ...