Introduction to Victor Nell's Lost in a Book

In order to determine whether hypertext/media will, in fact, replace the traditional novel, it is necessary to examine the psychological factors involved in pleasure reading. If such general characteristics of ludic reading can be reproduced with hypertext, there is no doubt that the novel will soon be replaced by its technologically superior cousin. In an age where email addresses and WWW home pages are exchanged as freely and as often as telephone numbers, the computer has become a dominant fixture of our existence. Hypermedia as pleasure reading is the next logical step.

Victor Nell's Lost in a Book , a psychological study of pleasure reading, covers topics ranging from reading trance and reader imaging to Freudian analyses of sleeping and reading.

Nell unfortunately does not address hypertext/media in his discussion of ludic reading; rather, he mentions other forms of entertainments such as attending a storytelling or watching a movie. The psychological factors of pleasure reading he discusses throughout the book can be tested against all genres in the entertainment industry, with varying results. I hope to show that hypertext/media can far surpass the novel in many regards, and specifically, in its ability to entrance the reader.

Nell on Entrancement & Absorption

Nell on Effort

Nell on Reading & Sleep

Nell on User Control

Nell on Reading Difficulty

Nell on Reading & Imagery

Nell's Guinea Pigs