When reading a book was a group activity

When reading a book was a group activity

We tend to imagine readers, an increasingly uncommon breed, as silent and usually solitary beings, but they have not always been so. As Abigail Williams tells us in “The Social Life of Books,” 18th-century England was a heyday of communal reading. Books were read aloud, a pastime that grew enormously in popularity alongside rising literacy rates, the birth of commercial publishing and the emergence of the professional writer.

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