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Hypertext and the Changing Roles of Readers

I agree completely with the author's supposition that reading hypertext is a completely different experience than reading print literature. I would even go so far as to say that the author has failed to note the various types of hypertext she describes are different in and of themselves.

Reading (and writing) in a chatroom is different from reading and writing on an electronic bulletin board is different from reading information on a web page. All three of these types of media (along with print media, of course) have different levels of reader involvement. In a chatroom, the reader is reading and responding in the here and now. On a bulletin board, the reader reads, writes, and contemplates while awaiting a response. Reading a webpage is closer to reading a novel - a one-way discourse, however, as the author stated, the reader does have more control over what aspects of the literature are read.

A final comment: I am not convinced this is something we need to spend a lot of time teaching students. Rather, our students should spend a lot of time teaching us! Students are already reading hypertext at a high level! Certainly higher than those of us who "snuck away to read while avoiding chores."


What does hypertext do to a person? Does it provoke thoughts? Or it is simply another kind of creative writing?