Absorbing narratives and Motivation to Read
A mode-effect study on young readers
Digital reading has established its position, and thus research on how reading mode affects reading experience and enjoyment is needed. This study is based on a reading experiment with 89 14–15-year-olds who read or listened to an entire book in four different reading modes: paperbook, ebook, audiobook, and via a commercial subscription service. Using quantitative methods, we examine whether reading mode affects story world absorption as well as seek connections between gender, motivation, absorption and reading mode preferences. Based on the study, reading mode has no statistical impact on narrative absorption experience, measured by the Story World Absorption Scale. Instead, the experience correlates with reading motivation; an adolescent with higher motivation is more likely to feel absorbed while reading, regardless of reading mode. On average, girls experience higher reading motivation and absorption than boys. Less motivated seem to prefer audiobook whereas more motivated choose reading over listening.
Keywords: audiobook, ebook, media effects, narrative absorption, reading motivation, adolescents