Publications and Reports
Micro-celebrity communities, and media education: Understanding fan practices on YouTube and Wattpad. In Frau‐Meigs, Divina, Kotilainen, Sirkku, Pathak‐Shelat, Manisha, Hoechsmann, Michael, & Poyntz, Stuart R. (Eds.) The Handbook of Media Education Research. John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ, pp. 17–32. You can read the abstract here.
The use of reader response in the practice of readers and writers: A case study. Synergy, 18(2), 2020 [online]. Read here.
Selfies and shelfies on #bookstagram and #booktok: Social media and the mediation of Australian teen reading. Learning, Media and Technology. 3 May 2022. https://doi.org/10.1080/09548963.2022.2045864.
#Own-voices, disruptive platforms, and reader reception in young adult publishing. Publishing Research Quarterly, 14 July 2022. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12109-022-09901-5.
Do digital devices enhance teenagers’ recreational reading engagement? Issues for library policy from a recent study in two Australian states. Public Library Quarterly, 37(3), 318–340; Read here.
Using modernist techniques to promote deep reading in Y.A. fiction. New Writing, 16(2), 128–138; Read here.
Influences on Australian adolescents’ recreational reading. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, (Volume 41, Issue 1, pp. 44–56; Read here.
Adolescents’ attitudes toward talking about books: Implications for educators. English in Education, (Volume 52, Issue 1, pp. 35–53); Read here.
The contours of teenagers’ reading in the digital era: Scoping the research. New Review of Children’s Literature and Librarianship (Volume 23, Issue 1, pp. 27–46); Read here.
The influence of access to eReaders, computers and mobile phones on children’s book reading frequency, Computers in Education (Volume 109, pp. 187–196); Read here.
Beyond the “good story” and sales history: Where is the reader in the publishing process? Cultural Trends. 10 March 2022 [online]. https://doi.org/10.1080/09548963.2022.2045864
What is Booktok, and how is it influencing what young Australian teenagers read? The Conversation. 10 May 2022. Read here.
Cultural Pathways to Teen Reading: Publishing Industry Challenges. © Teen Reading in the Digital Era. Read the report here.
Teen Reading in the Digital Era: Platforms, Access and Diversity. Snapshot Report of the Teen Reading Pilot Study, March 2017. Read snapshot report here. © 2021 Teen Reading in the Digital Era • Built with GeneratePress
What have we learnt about the reading habits of Australian teens?
One of the most important parts of the Discovering a ‘Good Read’ project is our national survey of students in secondary schools in NSW, QLD, WA and Victoria. In 2022, we collected more than 9500 responses from students at government, independent and Catholic schools. The survey asks Australian teens to tell us about their reading habits and preferences including how often they read for fun and what they choose to read when they do.
The survey is still open in Victoria and WA but we have collected enough responses to share some of our preliminary findings. Read more here
Social media and social reading practices
Sociable reading practices have long been an important feature of book culture. But what impact has the proliferation of digital social media platforms had on the reading habits of Australian teenagers? Our research examines the reading cultures on bookish social media platforms BookTube, Bookstagram, and BookTok for clues about how contemporary readers share their love for books online and connect with other book lovers.
You can read more here
What access to books and advice about books do Australian teens have?
The Cultural Pathways to Teen Reading project asked:
“How do the contexts of teenagers’ everyday lives shape their access to books and advice from knowledgeable cultural sources such as librarians and booksellers?”
One of these contexts is where teens live. We used geographical data to identify how teenagers in schools are spread throughout Australia to decide where to target our survey and to study how access to books and to advice about reading was spread throughout the country.
Of course, people seek advice from sources who don’t live close to them, such as through social and traditional media, but bookshop staff and librarians also play a major role, particularly in the lives of younger readers. They are also a major source for supplying books, with many people preferring to browse before buying or borrowing.
We set out to map where shops that sell and provide advice about books are located, and the distribution of public libraries. Independent bookstores, represented by their Australian Booksellers Association membership, are clustered around capital cities, but are also well-represented south of Perth, in western NSW and Victoria, and in the north of Tasmania. Meanwhile, Target and Big W are a significant, and often the only physical, source of books for purchase in more remote areas throughout the country.
The mapping project is a work in progress. We also plan to map the locations of public libraries, to identify locations where readers might seek knowledgeable advice, as well as books.
Campus Review featured the interim results of the Teen Reading study, reflecting on young people’s platform preferences.
29 November 2016
‘Tech savvy teens are throwing the book at e-readers’ according to the Teen Reading in the Digital Era pilot survey, ‘preferring to turn their own page of old-fashioned books writes Elissa Doherty in the Herald Sun. This story was syndicated into Geelong, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth and reported on local radio across Australia.
23 October 2016
‘Boys, of every age, no matter the nature of the literature before them, typically read less thoroughly than girls’: Research from the University of Dundee, in the Guardian.
The Conversation article, ‘We Like E-readers’ by ALIA’s Damian Lodge suggests that people who borrow e-books from libraries are also big purchasers of e-books, so it’s in the interests of publishers to find models for e-book lending (so long as piracy concerns are allayed).
The very early stage of our data collection suggests that teen readers often own or have access to e-readers, but use them rarely, and that they are also likely to be members of a library. This raises interesting questions about young adults’ appetite for borrowing e-books – they don’t appear to be doing it much at the moment, but would they if there was more opportunity to do so?
1 November 2021
Book stores and reading recommendations. Interviewed by Willy Russo on 2SER Breakfast Radio, Associate Professor Leonie Rutherford talks more about book stores and getting recommendations about books to read next. You can listen here. (About 135 minutes in).
7 October 2021
Love Your Bookshop. Writing in The Conversation, we report on recent findings about why Australians love their local bookstores. You can read the article here.
25 Jun 2020
The Power of Books. Professor Katya Johanson speaks with Hilary Harper on ABC Radio National Life Matters on the current interest in books about race during COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter. You can listen here.
13 November 2019
Teen Readers and Reading. Associate Professor Leonie Rutherford talks to Mel Cranenburgh on Backstory, Triple R radio Melbourne’s book program. You can listen here.
20 April 2018
Absorbed reading? American fantasy author, Ashley Barner, talks about how our culture conceptualizes reading habits, especially those of women and young people, through the exploration of fanfiction. Read this excerpt on Google Books.
17 April 2018
Teaching spoon-fed students how to really read! Writer and teacher educator, Tegan Bennett Daylight, writes about deep reading. Read this story in The Guardian.
16 March 2017
‘Amazon makes Kindle compliance difficult for readers’. Read this analysis featuring consumer advocates in The Guardian.
28 February 2017
The Copyright Agency’s website features our major interim findings.
3 February 2017. The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) used our study as the source for an infographic published in Teacher Magazine.