Ljubljana Manifesto

Higher-level reading is training for analytical and critical thinking

Higher-level reading exercises metacognition and cognitive patience, expands our conceptual capacities, trains cognitive empathy and perspective-taking. All these social skills are indispensable for informed citizens in a democratic society.

As a signatory to this manifesto, IFLA joins the call to acknowledge the permanent significance of higher-level reading in the digital era.

Miha Kovač, co-author of the manifesto states “Higher-level reading is reading of long and complex texts about complex problems that require intellectual patience, force us to self-questioning, train us in perspective-taking, and last but not least, require understanding of rules of logic. By higher-level reading, we deepen and broaden our vocabulary, and train the mind to think in new ways. Even in era of screens and artificial intelligence, training in complex thinking by reading complex books is one of the main preconditions for solving complex social, political and cultural problems.”

The Ljubljana Manifesto was written by four reading and publishing researchers (André Schüller-Zwierlein, University of Regensburg, Germany; Anne Mangen, University of Stavanger, Norway; Adriaan van der Weel, Leiden University, The Netherlands, and Miha Kovač, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia).

The Manifesto is supported by IFLA, the German Academy of Language and Poetry, the International Publishers Association (IPA), the Federation of European Publishers (FEP), PEN International, the International Board of Books for Young People (IBBY), the consortium of European reading promotion organizations (EURead) and the Slovenian Book Agency.

Read the Manifesto and its supporting article: Why Higher Level Reading is Important.