Reading in the digital age: the Reading on Screen project

Photo: Ray Gibson

At The Reading Agency we believe in the power of sharing stories and work to inspire people to share their love of reading with others. We are very pleased to have been part of the advisory group for the Reading on Screen project, a collaboration between the universities of Bournemouth and Brighton which has empowered participants to reflect on their personal reading journeys and to share their experiences with others through the creation of digital stories.

The project sought to stimulate debate on the topic of reading in the wake of technological advances which have transformed the way we engage with stories, as more and more people are now ‘reading on screen’. A series of digital storytelling workshops were run throughout 2017 in Brighton, Bournemouth and Sheffield, in partnership with the participatory media company DigiTales.

At the workshops, participants were encouraged to explore their relationships with books and the act of reading, and were then guided through the process of capturing their own stories by producing short videos. From piecing together a narrative, to undertaking filming, sourcing photographs and props, and compiling voice-overs and soundtracks, each participant was supported in creating their own original digital story which can now be shared with other communities of readers.

Some participants chose to focus on the ways technology has changed their reading habits; one digital story re-imagined the perceived tension between traditional books and e-readers as a tennis match, to create an animation titled ‘Kindle vs Book’.
Others were inspired by books, poems or stories which held a special significance to them, or by the people to whom they owed their passion for reading.

Barbara, a participant at the Brighton workshop, is now a regular iPad and Kindle user, but her life-long enjoyment of reading was encouraged by a copy of Anne of Green Gables which served as the inspiration for her story, ‘Kindred Spirits’ (below). The book was a childhood gift from her Aunt Dorothy, and Barbara’s much-loved copy is now also treasured by her daughter Jenni, who used it as the inspiration for her own digital story ‘Bound together’.

A celebration event in December brought Reading on Screen participants from the different workshops together for the first time for a screening of their digital stories. Many of those who took part said that the project offered a valuable space in which they could reflect on the impact that reading has had on their lives. For most participants it was also the first time they had been given the opportunity and skills to create a digital story which captured their experiences.

The Reading on Screen project has empowered readers to share their passions and encouraged them to develop their own distinct story-telling styles, with the resulting short videos now online for all to enjoy. The project has also provided us at The Reading Agency with a wealth of new learning on the nature of reading in the digital age and of the power of digital storytelling. We look forward to applying to it our work to encourage people to share their enjoyment of reading and celebrate the difference that reading makes to all our lives.

Get involved

Find out more about the Reading on Screen project and watch the participants’ digital stories

Sign up for The Reading Agency newsletter for information on upcoming events, the latest reading for pleasure news and information on how to get involved in our work.

The Reading Agency

Join our mailing list

Get our newsletters to stay up to date with programme news, resources, news and more.

Back to Top