Devices, Settings and Distractions: A Study into how Students read Literature

Esmeralda V. Bon, Michael Burke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The question of how and where students read has been a subject of discussion, not least due to the rise of e-reading devices and an increased need for remote learning. Reports in mainstream media often report that there appears to be a decline in traditional ways of reading literature. With this study we test this assumption. We focus on reading means and locations, asking how university students read literature electronically. We interview a sample of undergraduate students and ask them to fill out a survey. Our findings indicate that students still engage in ‘traditional’ literary reading behaviour. While they do make use of novel literary reading locations and devices, they mostly use digital devices out of necessity and aim for locations where reading is comfortable. Furthermore, they are not post-hybrid readers: they do not use multiple devices for reading the same story. Therefore, overall, their literary reading behaviour is more traditional than assumed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPedagogical Stylistics in the 21st Century
EditorsGreg Watson, Sonia Zyngier
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 17 Dec 2020


  • Literary reading
  • Pedagogical research
  • Stylistics

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Cathie Marsh Institute


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