Let’s begin by being really clear that any piece of writing can be called a text. A text, therefore, could be a novel, a story, a set of instructions, a label on a shirt, a signpost, an advertisement, a poster, a logo and so on. Some people believe that reading is simply a passive process of making sense of the words in a text. They think that reading is a passive process not an active one but this is not true. We interact with a text to create its meaning.
Stop here to interact with a text!
The owner of a company is looking for a catchy name for a new range of jeans. The designer suggests names like “Cool” and “Just for You” and “Stop.” The owner likes “Stop” and decides that the new range will carry a label that looks like the traffic Stop sign. A Stop sign on a fashionably shabby pocket of a pair of jeans will appear in their advertisements.
Without this knowledge, people cannot make sense of these particular Stop signs. They cannot read them even though they know what the word “stop” means.
Mind that reading gap!
Think about the last time you read something passively, letting it wash over you without engaging to make meaning of what you were reading. How did it feel? How much did you remember? Was it worth it?