The young read in new places, the older read on new devices: A survey of digital reading practices among librarians and Information science students in Denmark

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Gitte Balling, Anne Charlotte Begnum, Anežka Kuzmičová, Theresa S.S. Schilhab

This article reports key findings from a quantitative online survey of everyday reading practices (N = 277) that targeted library professionals and students enrolled in an Information Science program in Denmark. The survey derived its rationale from the current upsurge in reading on smartphones but was constructed so as to give a comprehensive overview of all devices used for reading, as well as to map how these devices combine in respondents’ reading behaviour with specific text genres and physical environments. The data documents a highly diversified reading ecology where most genres are read on most devices and where readers’ choices and preferences vary with gender, age, and life situation. The clearest patterns emerge among female respondents (N = 221; Mage = 39; range 19-65) who fall into distinct reader/user groups according to age. Most importantly, we found the variety of digital devices used for reading to increase rather than decrease with age, contrary to common assumptions. Meanwhile, the youngest of the female respondents seem to read in the greatest variety of environments, and to make the least use of printed reading materials.
Original languageEnglish
JournalParticipations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies
ISSN1749-8716
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2019

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