The Readers Project was selected for inclusion in the Electronic Literature Organization's 2016 Electronic Literature Collection Volume 3.

NEW (as of April 2017) • Readers Live is a implementation of sample texts and algorithmic readers reengineered in Daniel C. Howe's RiTa.js and Javascript. It allows the Project's Readers to be experienced as an accessible web-based application in a format that is similar to that of the Java applications below. There are enhancements along with a few differences, particular the facility to have many readers moving through a text at the same time. We will continue to develop and enhance Readers Live, and more web apps will follow in due course.

The Readers 2016 application, described on this page, is a configurable sampler of texts and algorithmic Readers. Applications for Mac OS X, Windows and Unix allow human readers to shape and share reading experiences with a range of strategies and visual behaviors. These experiences are embodied in and played out by Readers that have been developed as a part of The Readers Project.

Please find downloadable executables below:

Windows ( 32Bit / 64Bit ) * Java 1.8 required
Linux ( 32Bit / 64Bit / armv6hf )
General Controls

When you double-click to open the Readers 2016 application, you will see the first two ‘pages’ (of three) setting out the text of 'Poetic Caption.' After a short delay, a Perigram Reader begins to move from the first top-left word of this text, highlighting its phrases of interest as it progresses.

At any time you can hit the SPACE bar to pause or restart the active Reader. You can also, at any time, press the 'n' (for next), or right-arrow key, in order to move to the 'next' page of visible text. Note however that because this version of the application allows only one Reader to be active at a time, moving to subsequent pages may obscure an earlier page which carries the active Reader. If this happens you may simply continue to press 'n' (or right-arrow) until you cycle back.

Cycling Buttons for Configuration

Position your cursor at the very bottom of the application window to access a set of labeled buttons. These are 'cycling' buttons in the sense that successive mouse clicks will iterate through a short list of possible values. Hold down the shift key to cycle in reverse (for example, to return to a previous value).

Placing your cursor at the bottom of the screen also reveals a reading 'monitor' at the right. This monitor displays the word currently at the center of the active Reader's attention, and allows one to 'read' the output it creates.

Three distinct types of Reader are implemented in the Readers 2016. The ‘Reader’ button allows you to cycle through the three types, with each type pre-configured by the authors of The Readers Project. The options are:


This option only applies to Spawners and determines the vector of the uni-directional Perigram Readers that are spawned by the primary Reader. Spawners may be configured to set off in the following directions:

  • NE & SE - both north-east and south-east
  • South-East
  • North-East

New readers are only spawned if a word in the direction indicated completes a Perigram. They 'die' when then can no long find a Perigram completion in their direction of reading.

"Title" Button
Clicking successively on this button cycles through the available texts:
  • 'Poetic Caption' by John Cayley, 3 pp.
  • 'Misspelt Landings' by John Cayley, 3 pp.
  • 'The Image' from How It Is by Samuel Beckett, 6 pp.