Reading in the Mobile Era April 29, 2014 – Posted in: Books and Technology, infographics, Reading / Literacy – Tags:

A student in Kenya with her library of e-books. photo by @NdilaiG

Another highlight from this years World Book & Copyright Day was the release of Reading in the Mobile Era by UNESCO.

Based on interviews and 4,000 completed surveys in seven developing countries  (Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Uganda and Zimbabwe) this landmark report “paints the most detailed picture to date of who reads books and stories on mobile devices and why.”

We learn that celluar networks reach over 95% of the worlds population and more people have access to cell phones than toilets.

Then there is this tragic fact that most people in Sub-Shararan Africa do not own a single book!

Reading in The Mobile Era

We can talk about the Books vs. Kindle debate in the developed world until we are blue in the face but remember we have the luxury of comparison.

We have the infrastructure to bring books to our door in a matter of hours if need be. Many of them don’t even have enough water.

Clearly, e-readers are a part of the solution in these areas. It is the only way we can get text to the near 3/4 of a billion people (including 123 million youth) who cannot read or write on a timely, consistent basis.
More: UNESCO study shows effectiveness of mobile phones in promoting reading and literacy in developing countries

Infographic by BenStanford.

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