Japan cell phones users reading books

By Yuri Kageyama, The Associated Press

TOKYO – Your eyes probably hurt just thinking about it: Tens of thousands of Japanese cell-phone owners are poring over full-length novels on their tiny screens. In this technology-enamored nation, the mobile phone has become so widespread as an entertainment and communication device that reading e-mail, news headlines and weather forecasts – rather advanced mobile features by global standards – is routine.

Now, Japan’s cell phone users are reading books. Several mobile Web sites offer hundreds of novels – classics, best sellers and some works written especially for the medium. It takes some getting used to. Only a few lines pop up at a time because the phone screen is about half the size of a business card. But improvements in the quality of liquid-crystal displays and features such as automatic page-flipping, or scrolling, make the endeavor far more enjoyable than you’d imagine.

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