To exemplify the cultural specific nature of reading (texts) the editors have collected 12 papers which show characteristics of European (French, German, Italian), Japanese, and African ´cultures of reading´. The authors aim to understand specific reading cultures by including the respective ´ethnography´. On the other hand reading cultures also points to intracultural differences of reading: reading sub-cultures which may be qualified by sociological, institutional, geographical, medial, aesthetic, or ideological criteria. The time range is from the 16th century to the present.
Keywords: reading cultures, cultures of reading, literacy and culture, ethnography of reading