John has previously discussed reading eBooks on his PDA here, and I’ve spent some time with them as well. Overall, I’ve found reading short stories or smaller novels on my PDA to be a reasonable experience. I was so enamored of it that at one time I seriously considered buying one of those dedicated eBook readers. But, I’m not reading them now (despite that I still carry my PDA with me nearly every day) and I’ve found that it pretty much had a niche use for me. If I knew I was going to be in a position to want to read a book or two and didn’t want to have to physically carry them (like while I was on jury duty) it was great – otherwise I didn’t find it to be that much better than the good old paperback.
But now here comes a story that in Japan, people are really getting into reading eBooks on their cell phones. Yes, the article admits the displays are small and the resolution wasn’t always that great – but those things are changing. It also mentions that some US companies (notably Random House) are positioning themselves to take advantage of American interest in ‘books on phone’ should they take off the way ringtones and games have.
Perhaps the most interesting element in the story is the notion that companies are creating special content just for the cell phone. It sounds like the serial could return – they could publish just a chapter of a story per week and you can read the ones you haven’t read if you find the story compelling, or start another if it doesn’t hold your attention.
If you’re interested and happen to have one of those cool new Microsoft Smartphones you can try it out now. If you can, check out this software from Golden Crater and let us know how it works!