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's Guinea Pigs