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

Autoři: Federico Pianzola aff001;  Simone Rebora aff003;  Gerhard Lauer aff004
Působiště autorů: Department of Human Sciences for Education “R. Massa”, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy aff001;  School of Media, Arts and Science, Sogang University, Seoul, South Korea aff002;  Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of Verona, Verona, Italy aff003;  Digital Humanities Lab, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland aff004
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 15(1)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0226708


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.

Klíčová slova:

Behavior – Computer networks – Emotions – Graphs – Heart – Languages – Metadata – Social discrimination


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