Read in Browser: Reading platforms, frames, interfaces, and infrastructure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The endless debates over the future of the book and of reading have obscured the fact that the infrastructures in which we read are changing how we read. What goes on around the text as a result of the platformization of textuality influences the reading experience. It therefore becomes crucial to better understand the effects of digitalization, and the frames and architectures that house it, on reading and the literary experience, beyond the procedural concerns towards the cultural implications. This paper uses scholarship from the growing intersection of new media studies, digital humanities, literary studies, reading studies, and critical infrastructure studies to consider the complex interweaving of material and digital objects in literary culture, and the diverse networks that serve both as portals of access and containment. The paper asks what these interactions mean for the complex experience that is immersive and long-form reading. It proposes the concept of hyperparatextuality to think through the new reading environments in which books are accessed now. The infrastructures of digital reading include new and more intrusive, more hypertextual and more paratextual frames and this affects the reading experience and therefore the meaning we make out of texts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-319
Number of pages14
JournalParticipations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies
Volume16
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

Keywords

  • reading
  • infrastructure
  • digitization
  • digital reading
  • ebooks
  • born digital
  • digital humanities

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