Cell Phone Novels

>> Wednesday, March 4, 2009

On the heels of the announcement today that Amazon is releasing a free app that will allow Kindle e-books to be read on iPhones comes this snippet from SLJTeen, a School Library Journal e-newsletter focused on teen reading:

According to a recent report in Japan Today, 10 of Japan's print bestsellers in 2007 were based on cell phone novels—successfully selling about 400,000 copies apiece. One newspaper survey purports that 86 percent of high school, 75 percent of middle school and 23 percent of grade school girls read cell phone novels.

Cell phone novels!? As in, novels written specifically for reading on cell phones, or novels that were simply converted to e-book formats and made available on cell phones? The brief SLJTeen article isn't clear, but the extraordinarily in-depth New Yorker article by Dana Goodyear it links to explains that yes, these are novels that were written to be read on cell phones--some of which were then later turned into manga, anime, live-action movies, and print novels.

For more info on cell phone novels, check out Magic Island and Gocco. And to download a few of your own, visit Books in My Phone. Mortal Ghost, by L. Lee Lowe, a YA fantasy novel, might be a good one to start with!

Fascinating. I'll have to give one of these a try--if my antique cell phone can handle it...


beth March 4, 2009 at 2:49 PM  

I started reading a novel on my iPhone...it's really convenient, to pick it up in line for something, when I'd otherwise be staring into space...It will never be my primary reading, but it works for between time reading.

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