The Revolution Will Be Delivered in Bite-Sized Text Messages...

A couple of digital book news items have caught my attention lately. The first one is the article I read about an 86 year old buddhist monk in Japan writing a mobile phone novel and the second is the announcement by Daily Lit that Oxford Press is to begin serializing some of their more popular books for the service.

These announcements to me seem to signal a broader more popular acceptance of new forms of delivery and creation of literature. It is not surprising really taking into consideration the popularity of text messaging, instant messaging, twittering and all the other quick and techie ways of communicating across all demographics. Watching the incredible number of harried Blackberry users on my commuter train at the end of the day do their neurotic scrolling dance through reams of messages indicate this kind of communicating is not a fad.

Over at Teleread books, VP of Professional/Trade division for Wiley, Joe Wikert, pits info-snacking against book-reading. He is exploring his own reading habits in light of his interface with the Kindle and makes this observation:

so for some strange reason, I’m finding the Kindle experience to be more useful when it’s focused on shorter length, more time-sensitive content.

Are our reading habits changing? That seems to go without saying although it is early days really to determine meaningful changes to reading habits, especially since ereaders are hardly universally available. But is the message of this digital medium that we don’t have time to think? to savour? time to live? Is the Daily LIt model the way to address this shift? Well, I probably can’t comment on that because, well I come from the generation that didn’t have computers till high school and didn’t have a gui till university and well, you know what I mean. But I figure if an 86 year old nun is willing to embrace mobile novel writing then the revolution isn’t coming it is already here.