PaidContent has a brief piece on world literacy program Worldreader, which has distributed over 75,000 e-books and e-readers to students in sub-Saharan Africa. (We’ve mentioned them a few times ourselves.) Worldreader is launching an application for Java-enabled feature phones that will allow them to read e-books and access web sites such as Facebook over ordinary mobile phone signals.
The ultimate goal is to have “thousands” of e-books available on the app, Worldreader’s director of digital publishing Elizabeth Wood told The Bookseller: “Yes, this is a leap of faith for publishers, giving away some of their content for free. But once you give these kids in the developing world the tools and hook these kids on books, they will become book buyers.”
We’ve covered a number of programs and initiatives that allow e-reading via feature phones, especially in Africa. I suppose it just goes to show that if the choice is between a small screen and no books at all, the small screen works just fine.