Becoming a Reader studies the psychological development of readers of fictional stories across the entire lifespan. The author argues that regardless of personality and background, readers go through a regular sequence of stages as they mature from childhood to adulthood which affects how they experience and respond to stories. Literary theorists, reading psychologists, and general readers interested in the power of reading will find this to be an insightful book.
'This book is an excellent introduction to the kinds of fiction that appeal to school-age children, adolescents, and adults. It provides a rich and provocative as well as informative view of the why and what of experiencing fiction by readers of different ages. It introduces the basic ideas, assumptions, and themes in literary interpretation and criticism. It portrays the kinds of characters and stories that are recurrent in formulaic romance and adventure that appeal to all ages in different forms. As a basic primer on literature and literary experiences of children and adults, it is highly recommended.' American Journal of Psychology ' ... a lucid and useful book on the way reading fiction helps us construct and enlarge our personal and social identities.' America 'Happily, Appleyard is in the 'grip' of neither Frye nor anyone else. Like his pragmatically conceived adult reader, Appleyard uses Frye's Anatomy because it works. He manages to hold aloft at once a number of theories, examining and extracting the best and most sensible ideas before moving on.' Book Reviews