Worldreader: Ebooks for mobile phones

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When we think of an ideal ereader, we visualize something like the Nook or Kindle or iPad. A device that has the dimensions, but not necessarily the heft of a book. Most of us probably don’t think of our cell phones. Yet that’s exactly what Worldreader offers their users.

Screen size matters

iPhones screens have remained relatively small and don’t lend themselves to sustained reading. While the Samsung Galaxy screen is big for a phone, it still doesn’t compare to a tablet. Still, for a number of the world’s readers, cellular phones are now the central medium for reading ebooks.

Worldreader’s Solution

In developing countries landlines rarely exist. Millions of people have directly adopted cell phones as their main tool for access the Internet. And now ebooks can be read on older, smaller phones that run off of a 2G wireless connection. The non-profit organization Worldreader offers a mobile application allowing anyone with a mobile phone access to over 1,400 ebooks. And the service comes free of charge!

Susan Moody, Worldreader’s director of marketing and communications states, “Feature phones are omnipresent in the developing world. They’re people’s lifelines; they’re where they get their access to payments and the Internet.”

Worldreader takes advantage of Creative Commons licenses to provide classic children’s books like Nancy Drew and Black Beauty. They also partner with larger publishers to offer such all-time favorites as Matilda and the Magic Tree House series. In addition, they offer Africa-centric literature. Taking advantage of wireless connections, Worldreader offers children unprecedented access to literature.

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