Monday, March 2, 2009
Once again, we have more weird stuff coming from the Japanese. It's called keitai shosetsu, which refers to literary pieces written for mobile phones. Apparently, keitai shosetsu has become so popular in Japan that people are now calling it the next big thing in publishing. In 2007, 5 of the 10 bestselling novels were keitai shosetsu. Oh, and yes, the Japanese write these stories using the cellphones too. (If you think this is weird, just remember that the Japanese also came up with the solar-powered flashlight
Most of these novels are really love stories, which are adored by women in their teens and 20s. They're written in a serial form and usually take about 3 minutes to read, just enough time from one train stop to another. If you scoff at the idea, just think of Charles Dickens and your comics. Dickens's novels were actually published in installments and were just collated in the end and sold at bookstores. (I have never read Dickens, and I'm not totally sure what "dickensian" means.)
Similarly, Japanese publishers make big bucks publishing keitai shosetsu in mass market paperback. Judging from the popularity of keitai shosetsu, I think that young Japanese women will probably suffer from myopia or carpal tunnel syndrome. Still, if keitai shosetsu gets people to read, we may as well be open to this unique format. If only there was such a thing here in the Philippines, where almost all people who can read have cellphones. Let's just hope that the text doesn't appear like these:
"Y cnt I quit u?!"
"Luv mins nvr havng 2 say ur sori."
"M d king of d world!"
"2 b or nt 2 b. Dat s d qstion."