Complete 5 pages APA formatted article: Comparison Between Common and Complex Readers. As mentioned earlier, the writer is ambiguous in his presentation so that one cannot actually directly identify his definitions as pertaining to reading only rather his illustrations are definitions of different issues such as readers, consumers and planners.
According to Percy, a common reader is one who is often seen doing the common things, looking at the obvious. In reading, one is considered common when he simply understands the words and interprets them literally. The common reader does not understand beyond the meanings of the words but is only able to see the picture of what is suggested by the written words. In Percy’s illustration, a reader can see the common reader in the tourist who goes to the Grand Canyon and appreciates its beauty in comparison with how it should look like as portrayed in postcards and books. He has no other intention but to go there to appreciate and experience the beauty that people talked about. Therefore, when his expectations are met, he is satisfied and happy about it. Otherwise, he would think he came at the wrong time and considers returning to the scene at a different time of the day or year until his expectations are met. In other words, the common reader is not at all creative. He only sees what others suggest and will not try to discover what he might also be able to observe and comprehend what he witnesses or reads.
On the other hand, a complex reader is one who reads between the lines. He does not only interpret meanings from the written words but find other meanings of the written word by examining the author’s technique of writing, perhaps even familial, religious and cultural backgrounds which might give some clue to what is being said in-depth. A complex reader is able to find other reasons for his reading and other activities. For instance, in the aforementioned example cited by the writer, he points to the man who did not just go to the Grand Canyon to view the majestic image seen on postcards but he also goes there to plan the murder he was about to execute.