Moving Ebooks into Mobility Culture

Sherman Young writes about how ebooks should be seen in the context of mobile platforms and
as part of mobility culture. From M/C Journal:

Instead of seeking to make an e-book culture a replacement for
print culture, effectively placing the reading of books in a
silo separated from other day-to-day activities, it might be
better to situate e-books within a mobility culture, as part
of the burgeoning range of social activities revolving around
a connected, convergent mobile device. Reading should be
understood as an activity that doesn’t begin with a particular
device, but is done with whatever device is at hand. In much
the same way that other media producers make content available
for a number of platforms, book publishers should explore the
potential of the new mobile devices.

Over 45 million smartphones were sold globally in the first
three months of 2008 (“Gartner”)–somewhat more than the
estimated shipments of e-book reading devices. As well as
allowing a range of communications possibilities, these
convergent devices are emerging as key elements in the new
digital mediascape–one that allows users access to a broad
range of media products via a single pocket-sized device. Each
of those smartphones makes a perfectly adequate e-book reading
device, and it might be useful to pursue a strategy that
embeds book reading as one of the key possibilities of this
growing mobility culture.

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