This collection of papers introduces a new dimension in the understanding of reading by focussing on the relation between spoken and written language processing. It introduces new perspectives on speech and reading by highlighting aspects of the two that have received little attention in the past. The comparative approach to speech and reading concerns new approaches to the development of speech and reading, the existence of unconventional input modalities like Braille reading and lipreading, the study of populations with specific disorders in the abilities implicated in normal speaking and reading. Papers discuss the reading process in non-alphabetic orthographies, the specifics of the reading acquisition problem in logographic or mixed writing systems (like Chinese and Japanese) and its relation to underlying speech representations. The role of phonological processes in different modalities and writing systems and at different stages in the reading acquisition process is a central concern of all chapters. Drawing on expertise of the contributors the book presents a novel and multifaceted view of the achievements, the promises and the challenges facing the researcher once the intimate link between speech and reading comes to the foreground.