Ch 6. The Very Image of a Book


What is a book to you?

Do you prefer a physical book? Or reading on a Kindle?


Kindle is a small hand-held electronic device for reading books, similar to an iPod or MP3 player where you download and play music. The Kindle works the same way by downloading books (via wireless technology)  and store up to thousands becoming your own personal, portable library.

However, you compared to the original Kindle, the latest Kindles offer new options that the older versions did not have.

“As soon as you interject a book with links and connect it to the Web–as you as you “extend” and “enhance” it and make it “dynamic”- you change what it is and you change, as well, the experience of reading it.”


Cellphone Novels


Japanese cell phone novels (keitai shousetsu, ケータイ小説, literally keitai = cell phone, shousetsu = novel) is phenomenon that began almost fifteen years ago and landed in the Western world in 2008. It as mentioned before began in Japan, popular with everyday middle school, high school, university students and even those older write novels on their phones and post them onto sites chapter by chapter. Getting comments, reviews from chapters that consist of even 50-100 characters, sometimes more.

Cellphones back then were much more advanced compared to what we have now. Already possessing the ability to access the internet and post on chatrooms/websites.

These writers would write about numerous controversial subjects such as a personal, emotional, existential and controversial topics that are considered taboo to mention openly in Japanese culture, such as identity, subcultures, relationships, rape, bullying, abortion, friendships, and betrayals. These novels can receive more than ten million views and some have even been adapted into published works, tv dramas, films, anime (cartoons), manga (comicbooks).

The top five bestselling novels in Japan are often originally cellphone novels.

Examples are: “Koizora” (Love Sky), “Akai Ito” (Red String of Fate), “Kimi No Sei” (It’s Your Fault), “Moshimo Kimi Ga” (If You)





  • French poet Alphonse de Lamartine “This will be the reign of the human world in all its plenitude. Thought will not have time to ripen, to accumulate into the form of a book-the book will arrive too late. The only book possible from today is a newspaper?”
  • Why do you believe it failed?



  • In an 1889 essay in the Atlantic Monthly, Philip Hubert predicted that “many books and stories may not see the light of print at all; they will go into the hands of their readers, or hearers rather, as phonograms.”