Using Emotional Attachment as a Lens to Improve User’s E-reading Experience

Adam Girard, Benjamin R. Cowan, Kalpana Shankar, David Coyle

pp. 74 - 83, download



This paper explores ways to improve e-reading by examining the experience of people who have developed a sense of attachment to their e-readers. Nine participants who reported experiencing emotional attachment completed a semi-structured interview asking them about their experiences with e-readers and e-reading. Thematic analysis led to three main themes being identified as important to their experiences: projection of identity, control over the device, and environmental factors. We examine how these themes suggest that people’s experiences of reading in traditional and electronic formats are heavily interlinked. We also discuss how these themes resonate with the wider attachment literature. Based on our findings we suggest the need to support the expression of identity through configuration and display in the e-reader experience, as well as exploring ways devices can be used to control and personalize the reading environment.


Keywords: E-books, Digital reading, Emotional attachment, User experience.


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