Read, read, read with your mobile phone

I’m way behind in reading my RSS feeds – which makes me very glad that RSS actually exists! Imagine if I still had to save all the magazines, books, journals, and newspapers to read when I had time …. like we did in the old days.

Actually, I have to get smarter about ways to keep up with my reading :-)

Why? because no matter what they say, we are still enjoy reading for relaxation, reading for information, reading for knowledge, reading for…well, lots of things.

I’ve always kept an eye on the various electronic readers that are around, like the Amazon Kindle, but have never actually gotten into reading with those gadgets. I like my books and journals and magazines. But I also like my technology!

One of my favourite pieces of small technology is my mobile phone. You know how it is! Communicate, track events, take pictures, even manage your online connections. I don’t moblog, or sent images or videos online just because that costs ‘big bickies’ here in Australia. I do treat myself to a “tweet” or two (write a post on Twitter), and weather or sport updates. My other favorite piece of small technology is my iPod. This is great for music, podcasts, even videos.

BUT my totally constant companion is my mobile phone. Don’t always have my iPod handy. So thanks to a post at aRKive, I’ve discovered a cool new application for my mobile from BooksInMyPhone.

Now I can have Classic books to read on my mobile phone. Convenient (sort of), with hundreds of titles to choose from. Now I can an ebook with me all the time!!

Granted my mobile screen is tiny – but I can increase the font size to make it more readable. The thing is (like all technology improvements) the screens on our phones are getting bigger as on the iPhone. I’m happy with my newly acquired ebooks – so many times I have been caught out with time to kill and wished I had something to read. Now I have! My mobile now has some Twain, Checkov, Elliot, Tolstoy and Shakespeare on hand – just for fun!

Whither literacy?

Studying classic books at school? Well, perhaps we should get students to grab a copy to their mobile – maybe the different medium will appeal to them.

Somehow this fits with the success of books being published to mobile phones – a trend so popular in Japan.

….. it is Rin’s rather less challenging Moshimo Kimiga (If You …), a 142-page hardback book about a high-school romance, that has caused the bigger fuss.

“I typed it all on my mobile phone,” Rin explains matter-of-factly over the same device. “I started writing novels on my mobile when I was in junior high school and I got really quick with my thumbs, so after a while it didn’t take so long. I never planned to be a novelist, if that’s what you’d call me, so I’m still quite shocked at how successful it’s turned out.”

So successful that one volume of her book, which began its life in a series of instalments uploaded to an internet site and sent out to the phones of thousands of young subscribers, has sold more than 420,000 copies since it was converted into hardcopy format in January.

In just a few years, mobile phone novels – or keitai shousetsu – have become a publishing phenomenon in Japan, turning middle-of-the-road publishing houses into major concerns and making their authors a small fortune in the process.

Image: Recycling small book, great story

3 thoughts on “Read, read, read with your mobile phone

  1. Julia, the amazing thing is just today I was caught quietly having coffee, and no book to read! Out came the mobile, and I began to read one of the shorter books that I had put onto my mobile. I became engrossed. I was able to pause the book at a chapter break, ready to continue in my next unoccupied mobile moment. Has lots of potential I’m sure.

  2. Some time ago I had a discussion whether it was really pleasing to read books on a tiny display. I couldn’t imagine that this could be a nice experience and the discussion ended up with: “Just give it a try!”
    I still haven’t tried but my opinion has slightly changed.
    Bigger displays (like the i-phone has) will improve mobile reading experience and the reason why people will read mobile is just the fact that you can’t always carry a book with you.

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