The end of deep reading is a commonplace in public debates, whenever societies talk about youth, books, and the digital age. In contrast to this, we show for the first time and in detail, how intensively young readers write and comment literary texts at an unprecedented scale. We present several analyses of how fiction is transmitted through the social reading platform Wattpad, one of the largest platforms for user-generated stories, including novels, fanfiction, humour, classics, and poetry. By mixed quantitative and qualitative methods and scalable reading we scrutinise texts and comments on Wattpad, what themes are preferred in 13 languages, what role does genre play for readers behaviour, and what kind of emotional engagement is prevalent when young readers share stories. Our results point out the rise of a global reading culture in youth reading besides national preferences for certain topics and genres, patterns of reading engagement, aesthetic values and social interaction. When reading Teen Fiction social-bonding (affective interaction) is prevalent, when reading Classics social-cognitive interaction (collective intelligence) is prevalent. An educational outcome suggests that readers who engage in Teen Fiction learn to read Classics and to judge books not only in direct emotional response to character's behaviour, but focusing more on contextualised interpretation of the text.

Wattpad as a resource for literary studies. Quantitative and qualitative examples of the importance of digital social reading and readers' comments in the margins

Rebora, Simone;Lauer, Gerhard
2020-01-01

Abstract

The end of deep reading is a commonplace in public debates, whenever societies talk about youth, books, and the digital age. In contrast to this, we show for the first time and in detail, how intensively young readers write and comment literary texts at an unprecedented scale. We present several analyses of how fiction is transmitted through the social reading platform Wattpad, one of the largest platforms for user-generated stories, including novels, fanfiction, humour, classics, and poetry. By mixed quantitative and qualitative methods and scalable reading we scrutinise texts and comments on Wattpad, what themes are preferred in 13 languages, what role does genre play for readers behaviour, and what kind of emotional engagement is prevalent when young readers share stories. Our results point out the rise of a global reading culture in youth reading besides national preferences for certain topics and genres, patterns of reading engagement, aesthetic values and social interaction. When reading Teen Fiction social-bonding (affective interaction) is prevalent, when reading Classics social-cognitive interaction (collective intelligence) is prevalent. An educational outcome suggests that readers who engage in Teen Fiction learn to read Classics and to judge books not only in direct emotional response to character's behaviour, but focusing more on contextualised interpretation of the text.
2020
Wattpad, digital social reading, computational literary studies
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1115895
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