I read once that some authors wrote novels on their mobile phones. In Japan there is a hype of reading eBooks on the mobile phones and hand-helds. They prefer to read while they are in the metro going to their work. In fact it's not just the Japanese who prefer to read in public transportations, my grandfather told me once that when he visited France, he used to see people there reading in the metro too.
As for the Japanese people, I know that they like Manga (Japanese Comics). I guess people in other countries read Novels and Stories mainly. But for sure this doesn't mean that they don't read other kinds of books too.
But the question now, what about the Arabs and Egyptians? Do they read too? I don't think so. May be this is because of our education system. During my school years as well as in the University I was never given an assignment to find some info from a book other than the school text-books. May be the only time I did a research was during my graduation project. It was really fun then. To tell you the truth, I almost forgot everything I studied in the University, and the only thing I still remember till now is the stuff I learned in that graduation project.
Next month there will be the annual international book fair here in Cairo. I want you to go there and tell me what kind of books do people normally buy from there. I'll give you a hint, most of the books there are Religious Books. Hundreds years old books. Do you want to know the reason? It's because they will be rewarded and sent to heaven if they read and practice what is written there. And the sad truth is that even after reading these books people still don't know their religion well. And back to the metro reading habits, yes there are few ones who read there. And almost all of them read the Quraan, but most of them mainly read it looking for heaven reward. I believe that God promised people to be rewarded for reading every letter in the Quraan, but the goal here was to understand and learn, and not just reading the letters one after the other.
But you know, I feel that there is some change in the air. I liked the idea of Beano's Cafe where you can grab a book to read while you're there. The Internet on the other hand is helping in promoting books and reading in general. Some bloggers write review for books they read, and there are applications and widgets on Facebook and other sites where people can share with other a list of the books they are currently reading. Globalization is not pure evil as people like to believe. Sometimes it helps in changing people's habits that are sometimes bad ones. I myself used to limit myself to reading technical books only, but blogging made me change this. I became more into Social and Humanitarian issues. I also was introduced to other subjects such as Photography, thanks to Flickr. Sometimes you don't need to read a book to learn about new issues, articles in Wikipedia and on other Blogs can sometimes be considered micro-books. I never liked reading novels, I prefer to watch them as movies instead. I bought "The Da Vinci Code", but couldn't read more than a chapter and half of it.
Finally, excuse me if there are many spelling mistakes in this post, but I am one of those people who can't live without spell-checkers and it seems that there is no checker here on the Blackberry.