In today’s New York Times, the newspaper goes on to report that “Japan’s Best Sellers Go Cellular“:
“…Then last month, the year-end best-seller tally showed that cellphone novels, republished in book form, have not only infiltrated the mainstream but have come to dominate it. Of last year’s 10 best-selling novels, five were originally cellphone novels, mostly love stories written in the short sentences characteristic of text messaging but containing little of the plotting or character development found in traditional novels. What is more, the top three spots were occupied by first-time cellphone novelists, touching off debates in the news media and blogosphere. “Will cellphone novels kill ‘the author’?” a famous literary journal, Bungaku-kai, asked on the cover of its January issue. Fans praised the novels as a new literary genre created and consumed by a generation whose reading habits had consisted mostly of manga, or comic books. Critics said the dominance of cellphone novels, with their poor literary quality, would hasten the decline of Japanese literature. Whatever their literary talents, cellphone novelists are racking up the kind of sales that most more experienced, traditional novelists can only dream of.”
If you’ve ever been to Japan, you understand the important role of the cell phone that plays in the day-to-day lives of the Japanese. The ecosystem of services and content is *amazing* and makes the United States look like a 3rd world country. Since I can’t read / write / speak Japanese, I can’t really evaluate the quality of cell phone literature is, but one has to wonder if this is a sign of things to come in the U.S. – maybe we’ll be seeing novels based on Facebook status messages???