AbstractActive reading is fundamental to learning. However, there is little understanding about whether traditional active reading frameworks sufficiently characterize how learners study multimedia tablet textbooks. This paper explores the nature of active reading in the tablet environment through a qualitative study that engaged 30 students in an active reading experience with two tablet textbook modules. We discovered novel study behaviors learners enact that are key to the active reading experience with tablet textbooks. Results illustrate that existing active reading tools do little to support learners when they struggle to make sense of and subsequently remember content delivered in multiple media formats, are distracted by the mechanics of interactive content, and grapple with the transient nature of audiovisual material. We collected valuable user feedback and uncovered key deficiencies in existing active reading tools that hinder successful multimedia tablet textbook reading experiences. Our work can inform future designs of tools that support active reading in this environment.