The accessibility of tablets, e-readers and smartphones has made it so that it is no longer necessary to lug around a heavy 600 page physical book. Although these devices might make reading more convenient, the question remains whether individuals prefer reading on these devices or in print. Åse Tveit (Oslo and Akershu University College of Applied Sciences) and Anne Mangen (University of Stavanger) conducted a study to investigate how teenagers experience reading on digital devices versus with a physical book.
A total of 143 students were recruited from various schools in Oslo, Norway to participate in the study. Participants were asked to read the novel Jokeren by Lars Saabye Christensen either as a printed book or on an e-reader (Sony Reader PRS T2). The experimenters administered two questionnaires, one before the reading session and one after the reading session. These questionnaires measured self-reported experiences regarding e-readers and print books.
Although e-readers and tablets were not used for reading by most students, they agreed that in the future, reading on devices will become more common. The majority of avid readers preferred physical copies of the book whereas those who read infrequently preferred the use of digital devices to read. Other studies have reported a loss of concentration or decreased immersion in a story while reading on a digital device but in this study, reading a printed book or on a device did not make a difference with respect to the student’s experience.
Even though almost everyone owns a smartphone, digital devices have not supplanted physical books for the purpose of reading. For some, digital devices cannot replicate the feeling associated with reading an actual book. For others, however, they present an exciting alternative that provides additional interest when reading.
Tveit, Å. K., & Mangen, A. (2014). A joker in the class: Teenage readers' attitudes and preferences to reading on different devices. Library and Information Science Research, 36(3-4), 179-184. doi:10.1016/j.lisr.2014.08.001
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Post by Guneet Daid.