This paper focuses on how people read and respond to text on static and dynamic display screens in public spaces. It aims to explore what is effective and engaging about the interactive experience in reading, as well as exploring the engagement aesthetics of literary art in the digital age. One of the questions we address is whether the cognitive approaches to reading can inform the design of interactive art systems, to promote readable and engaging experience. In order to explore this question, we designed an interactive art system based on the Landscape Model of Reading. Being informed by the model, our system reflects both on the linguistic value and the playful element of texts in interactive art settings. The system is integrated into an interactive installation, which uses found objects as text materials, and creates a novel engaging environment for reading. We explored participants’ reading behaviour through large displays, by comparing different forms of static and dynamic presentations in a dynamic-interactive environment. Our results show that readers find it easier to read text on static-neutral backgrounds compared to dynamic-interactive backgrounds.