This thesis is a study of adolescent readers who read spontaneously and voraciously to satisfy a variety of felt needs. An initial comparative study is made of the differential reading attitudes, interests, preferences and practices of ludic, moderate and reluctant readers among more than 2,200 New Zealand fourth and sixth formers. More specifically recorded are the preferences and practices of sixteen ludic readers, examined over a twelve month period. To the adolescent ludic reader, the important element of a book is its trance potential, which accounts for the pre-ordinance of fiction over non-fiction. Vivid imagery is found to be a characteristic of ludic reading among adolescents. The genre most favoured are horror, romance, adventure and fantasy. Genre preferences were found to remain stable over a twelve-month period, particularly among male ludic readers. Factors most strongly related to ludic reading are gender, ethnicity, family occupational status and home reading background. Less strongly related are birth order and family size. A strong relationship exists between school academic success and ludic reading. Higher than average occupational aspirations are also related to ludic levels of reading. Habitual ludic reading is found to decrease only slightly with age in adolescence with increasing work and study commitments, accompanied by increasing economic and social independence. Adolescent ludic readers are found to have a variety of leisure pursuits, including television-viewing. Personality and environmental influences determine quite individual differences in motivation, satisfactions, practices and preferences of ludic readers. The case study readers perceived literary quality to be inversely related to reading pleasure. Ludic readers experience a variety of emotions while reading a book and happy endings are not found to be relevant or a necessary requisite for enjoyment. Re-reading particular books is a feature of the reading habits of this group of adolescent readers. The popular perception of the ludic reader as an introverted, passive and solitary individual is not supported in this study.