Publication Details

D'Ambra, J., Wilson, C. S. & Akter, S. (2017). Affordance Theory and E-Books: Evaluating the E-reading Experience Using Netnography. Personal & Ubiquitous Computing, Online first 1-20.


E-books have changed the business of book publishing and the reading experience of the general public. Dedicated e-readers and other smart devices are integral to e-books offering affordances to overcome the physical limitations of print book and to provide the functionality of information technology. Using netnography, comments by online readers to articles in The New York Times and Scientific American were analysed and coded by themes identified in the literature of e-books versus print books. An Affordance Theory approach was used to provide insights into the readers' perceptions of real and actual affordances and the value delivered by these affordances. Comments by online readers of two diverse datasets confirm results found in questionnaires and surveys reported in the academic literature. It is the physical attributes and functionality of smart devices used in e-reading that provides the opportunity of affordance. Our study provides support for an affordance perspective of e-books and e-readers. It also highlights preferences for e-books and/or print books in various contexts. To our knowledge it is the first to consider e-readers as an IT artefact providing information processing capabilities.

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