Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


This study was designed to investigate avid readers' perceptions of themselves as readers, the reading act, the world of books and other printed media, the reason for their continuous desire and/or impulse to read, and the pedagogical implications of these perceptions.

Sixty avid readers responded to a questionnaire designed to explore their reading autobiographies. The collected responses were categorized and descriptively analyzed according to each question.

The findings from this investigation revealed that although there are myriad ways in which people come to reading, some general, common characteristics existed, to varying degrees, in the readers' experiences. Among these characteristics, described as 'conditions,' were: being read to as children, observing reading behavior in the home environment, having positive reading experiences with particular materials, active library use, exposure to and availability of books in the home environment, and the impact of receiving direct encouragement to read from parents, family, teachers, librarians, and/or friends. In addition, this study demonstrated that avid reading can develop at any point in a person's lifetime.

The data yield support for the current direction of literature-based reading instruction and provide insight into the way in which parents, educators-society-- attempt to ensure our students an opportunity to cultivate and sustain a genuine reading interest. The data suggest that instructional reading programs reconstruct the conditions common to avid readers' experiences within the school environment.

Implications for future research include individual literacy development, as well as ethnographic and longitudinal studies of readers' coming to reading.

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