Novels for Breakfast

by Stella

While Mike suns himself on vacation, Kathleen works on a new sketch (risking sweetness!), Paul waits for his book to come out next month, Naomi spends time with her inspirational rabbit, and Jen makes sure the newsroom is chock full of news, I've been thinking about my next post. But I got sidetracked when a friend emailed me this article about cellphone novels.

Cellphone novels are a cultural phenomenon in Japan. Basically, the authors gradually write them as a series of text messages - similar to online novels, only in much shorter installments, incorporating emoticons and texting slang. I don't really want to get into whether this phenomenon is positive or negative, since I've never read a cellphone novel. The thing that surprised me is how successful the format apparently is - millions of novels as well as millions of readers. And! I'm seeing an opportunity for literature to branch out.

Cereal boxes! Cereal Novels! Ha ha ha... ha?

Just think about it for a minute. You're having your cereal for breakfast and naturally you want to read something - why not the fragment of a novel? How long does it take to finish a whole box of cereal, a week maybe? Then next week the new box will have the next fragment, and so on and so on. Of course there'd be problems deciding what content is appropriate for the format. Can you make an R-rated cereal box? Now there's a question.

(By the way, though I'm more kidding than serious, I mean no offense to cellular novelists and cellular novel readers. I was simply surprised by the concept.)


kathleenmaher said...

The idea appeals to me. So rarely do I eat without reading that it almost doesn't feel like eating unless I'm reading, too.
But the R-rating could be important. Last week, after a hard core yoga class and no lunch, I ravenously started dinner with Yiyun Yi's story, "Immortality."
By the third page I was reading an explicit description of castration procedures in ancient China.
For the 2 am snack I needed if I wanted to sleep, I ate a big bowl of Cheerios--in the dark.

Paul said...

I'm intrigued by this concept too, Stella. Was also interested by a report from a couple of years back about condensing classics into sms messages (see ).Particularly like the ending of Jane Eyre: "MadwyfSetsFyr2Haus"!

Stella said...

Okay, that's hilarious. And pretty frightening!

Hamlet can be: boohoo boohoo rip