This past weekend, the Wall Street Journal had a compelling article on the rise of phone-reading. It noted that readers have abandoned paperbacks, tablets, and even e-readers in favor of increasingly large-screened phones. Publishers are following suit.
To engage readers, publishers are now experimenting with ways to make the mobile-reading experience better. They are designing book jackets with smartphone screens in mind. (Handwritten scripts or small fonts may not be legible.) They are customizing their marketing materials—email blasts, Facebook posts and websites—to be read on phones. And some are trying to catch people on the go, offering free access to e-books in airports, hotels and trains.
It’s clear that, as Benedict Evans wrote, the smartphone is the sun around which other devices and services orbit, and that content publishers are best-served by a mobile-first, and mobile-most, strategy. The New York Times observed that vertical video has gone from anathema to accepted standard, thanks in great part to Snapchat.
On a personal level, I’ve found that I increasingly do most of my reading – in Pocket, of course – on my phone. I’ve found that I have a great deal of interstitial time where I don’t have a laptop or iPad, but where my phone presents an optimal solution to both boredom and hacking down the nearly 800 articles I have sitting on my Pocket list.