I sit next to a lot of kids on their way to school on the subway, and many of them have a DS or other small gaming device, though I don’t often see them reading unless it’s a text screen from a game.
Not so in Japan – “Love Stories for Grown-Ups,” better known around here as “Harlequin romances” are now available for the Nintendo DS in Japan.
Can we discuss my jealousy here? Not over the books – the features of the DS Harlequin selection. Check out the features:
Love Stories for Grown-Ups enhances the reading experience by offering a number of interactive features accessed through easy touch screen operation—a “concierge” that allows you to navigate stories by mood or type of heroine, character correlation charts and lists that are updated along with plot developments, narrative annotations including maps for locations, digital bookmarks, story recaps that bring readers up to where they last left off, a choice of background music, Author introductions and images, polls on hero ranking, review rankings by other users via Wi-Fi connection and more.
That is an amazing mix of social networking and personalization – and here I can’t even hack a Kindle to organize my books by genre and subgenre. Seriously. It’s enough to make me want to go to Japan, buy a DS, and … wish I could read Japanese.
I can’t even imagine the device that would organize such features and make them user-friendly here in the US. Isn’t that sad? I’d love to be able to, for example, read a romance by the mood I’m in, and see who I know is in a similar reading mood – amazing. ETA: it reveals a little bit about the cultural differences and the resulting electronic usage differences between US and Japan, I think.