The Cellphone Novels & Microlit

The cellphone novel is now mainstream in Japan. According to a recent article in The New York Times, five of the Top 10 novels in Japan last year were written on cellphones. Even the number one novel in Japan last year was written on a cellphone! The novel, “Love Sky“, written by a young Japanese woman Mika, was published in traditional book form and sold millions of copies before being turned into a movie! The book was published because over 20 million people read it in serial form on cellphones or at online micro-literature website.

The cellphone novelist types a passage on the phone and then uploads it to a website that allows readers to view the work in progress and comment. Cellphone prose is filled with lots of short fragments, broken dialog and emoticons. Traditional authors criticize that these microlit platform could spoil the literature.


These Cellphone microlits help the public transportation users to utilize their commuting time reading novel when it is almost impossible to open or carry a book. Japanese also use cellphone books to catch up on classics they never finished reading before. People are perusing sex manuals and other books they are too embarrassed to be caught carrying or reading or buying. More common in Japan is keeping an electronic dictionary in the phone in case a need arises. [via abcnews, csmonitor]

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