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Reading Revolution

While we witness the transition from paper to digital publishing, The Atlantic looks back on ten prior revolutions in literacy from hieroglyphs to Hellenic song to the printing press. "The phrase 'reading revolution' was probably coined by German historian Rolf Engelsing. He certainly made it popular. Engelsing was trying to describe something he saw in the 18th century: a shift from 'intensive' reading and re-reading of very few texts to 'extensive' reading of many, often only once. Think of reading the Bible vs reading the newspaper. Engelsing called this shift a 'Lesenrevolution,' lesen being the German equivalent of reading. He thought he had found when modern reading emerged, as we'd recognize it today, and that it was this shift that effectively made us modern readers."
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