I’ve recently had an academic paper rejected. Well, it’s to be expected that that will happen from time to time. What really surprised me, however, was that the reviewer said it had spelling mistakes in it. No, it didn’t. When I looked at it again, it had one small typo. But the peer reviewer accused me of misspelling “lucid”. I referred five times to “ludic” reading.
Ah well, I probably need to include a definition of what I mean by that.
The word “ludic” actually means playful, and in the sense of playing to certain rules. So, it’s actually used a little bit wrongly in the term “ludic reading”. This has a sense of reading for pleasure, and probably includes that type of reading where you are totally gripped by a story and lose sight of your real world. In my case, as I read, I stop seeing marks on paper and just have a film playing out in my head. I’m amazed that this isn’t the experience that most people get when they read and certainly most other creative writers I know do have that experience. It’s stopped being “play”, though, for me as it is now part of my job. But what a job, eh?
Incidentally, this film in the head is even stronger when I write.
This type of reading is actually very interactive, not relaxing at all. As early as 1988 Victor Nell discussed this in his book Lost in a Book and more recently in an academic paper on the process. Further work has been conducted since and both Nell’s work and the more recent work include looking at what actually happens in the brain when we read in this way. The results have been quite surprising and very exciting. This feels like something I want to find out more about.
Another potential research topic then?