November 28, 2012
In China, 25 Million People Use Only Their Cell Phones to Read Books
The Atlantic, on how in China as 25 Million People read books on their cell phones, entire genres of literature may be revived, such as mid-length novels and poems, which have fallen out of favour.
According to Clifforn Coonan in Beijing for The Irish Times, almost half of Chinese adults read books in different forms and about 25 percent of readers -- some 220 million people read electronic media. Of these, almost 120 million people use their mobile phone to read.
And almost 25 million people only use their cellphones to read books." Coonan quotes Zhang Yiwu, a respected literature professor at Peking University, who said "the appearance of mobile phone literature may revive the declining mid-sized novel and poem in China."
Coonan notes that the concept came from Japan, but for Chinese readers it has the advantage of avoiding censorship, which remains a factor in traditional book formats. "Tens of thousands of writers publish their works for free online," he writes, "to be downloaded by readers on to their phones.
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