Toward an Understanding of Fiction and Information Behavior
The study of information science and technology has expanded over the years to include more kinds of people, more kinds of behavior, more methods, and a broader inclusion of fields. There is at least one area, however, where very few information studies scholars have tread: entertainment. Yet many works in other fields of study indicate that information studies should consider forms of entertainment such as fiction. This paper aims to consider how fiction is an informative genre, to discuss reasons why information studies has generally ignored the possibility of fiction as informative, and to identify potential research agendas for studying the reading of fiction as information interactions. We provide a summary of works from a variety of disciplines about fiction, discuss motivations for expanding (and not expanding) information studies, and explore some preliminary research that illustrates some ways fiction is important to information behavior.
Large-scale Log Analysis of Digital Reading
In this paper, we address daily reading practices of the general public in Russia analyzing 10 months of log data from the commercial ebook site Bookmate. We study different reading characteristics with ebooks, i.e. the reading volume and preferences, reading schedule, reading speed and reading style (including parallel reading patterns and book abandonment rates), with respect to reader gender, book length and genre of the book. We find that book genres impact certain reading behaviors, while gender differences or book length seem to play less of a role in ebook reading. Parallel book reading and book abandonment occur very frequently, possibly pointing towards changing reading behaviors in the ebook environment. The obtained insights demonstrate the high potential of log analysis for book reading studies.
Affective Taxomonies of the Reading Experience: Using User-Generated Reviews for Readers’ Advisory
This paper examines affect in the reading experience to help both readers’ advisors and readers as they work to suggest books to readers and choose books for their individual context. Using Grounded Theory analysis of 536 user-generated reviews from 831 bibliographic records of a selection of fiction titles (n=22) in Canadian public libraries whose catalogues allow for the inclusion of user content were analyzed for affective content. The content of the reviews was coded into three categories, Emotions, Tones, and Associations and taxonomies were developed. Emotions are represented by 9 basic categories, and 44 unique emotions, Tones by 11 basic categories and 141 unique tones, and Associations by 7 basic categories and 31 unique associations. Affective access points can serve as an important addition to the bibliographic records for works of fiction and it is suggested that the derived taxonomies could be used as facets by which to narrow the results of a search for readers’ advisory efforts in public libraries.