Are teenagers really keen digital readers? Adolescent engagement in eBook reading and the relevance of paper books today
Australian Association for the Teaching of English
School of Education
Digital reading technologies may be intuitively appealing. They offer many possibilities, including great potential for interactivity around books, portability of whole libraries in one small reading unit, and almost instant satisfaction of demand for a particular book. Though there is limited research exploring the appeal of digital reading for contemporary adolescents, some schools in the US and Australia have already purged their stock of paper books, exclusively carrying digital books, on the assumption that digital books are more attractive to this demographic, and that transitioning to a purely digital format is progressive. In this paper data from the West Australian Study in Adolescent Book Reading (WASABR) are drawn upon to explore the current level of adolescent engagement in digital reading. Findings suggest that adolescents do not necessarily find eBook reading more appealing than reading paper books.