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Readers' advisory and underestimated roles of escapist reading

Readers' advisory and underestimated roles of escapist reading Purpose – The purpose of this paper, aimed primarily at readers' advisors in public libraries, is to take a critical look at the concept of escapism in leisure reading, highlight the multiple aspects of escapism, present it in a more positive light, and show that escapism is associated not only with light entertaining reading but also with the reading of serious literature. Design/methodology/approach – The paper takes the form of a critical review of literature and real‐life examples. Findings – It is found that escapism in leisure reading is a very complex and composite concept. Although it is not always associated with pleasure and relaxation, it is always a transformative and thus instrumental and functional experience in the reader's life. Research limitations/implications – The paper provides a valuable discussion of the literature on escapist reading. Practical implications – The paper considers the importance of escapist reading and whether would this be of benefit to library professionals involved in the public library sphere. Originality/value – Multiple and diversified examples of escapism through leisure reading are reviewed and critically analyzed; and the application of this knowledge in readers' advisory work is clearly delineated. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Library Review Emerald Publishing

Readers' advisory and underestimated roles of escapist reading

Library Review , Volume 60 (9): 10 – Oct 11, 2011

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0024-2535
DOI
10.1108/00242531111176763
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper, aimed primarily at readers' advisors in public libraries, is to take a critical look at the concept of escapism in leisure reading, highlight the multiple aspects of escapism, present it in a more positive light, and show that escapism is associated not only with light entertaining reading but also with the reading of serious literature. Design/methodology/approach – The paper takes the form of a critical review of literature and real‐life examples. Findings – It is found that escapism in leisure reading is a very complex and composite concept. Although it is not always associated with pleasure and relaxation, it is always a transformative and thus instrumental and functional experience in the reader's life. Research limitations/implications – The paper provides a valuable discussion of the literature on escapist reading. Practical implications – The paper considers the importance of escapist reading and whether would this be of benefit to library professionals involved in the public library sphere. Originality/value – Multiple and diversified examples of escapism through leisure reading are reviewed and critically analyzed; and the application of this knowledge in readers' advisory work is clearly delineated.

Journal

Library ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 11, 2011

Keywords: Public libraries; Library users; Information services; Leisure reading; Escapism; Readers' advisory

References