When I was in college, I proposed the idea that I could write a cell phone novel for my undergraduate senior thesis. I was discouraged from that and settled on a web-based hypertext novel. Several years later, Huffington Post reports that “Five of the top ten bestsellers of 2007 in Japan were “cell phone novels.” The trend is growing.

The "less is more" philosophies of the East, such as the minimalist discipline of haiku, made the first cell phone novels a natural fit for Japanese readers. But even to a Western outsider like this columnist, this upstart medium seems well suited for English-language verse, inspirational affirmations like those found in many self-help works, or perhaps stream-of-consciousness prose in the spirit of Kerouac... to cite just a few possibilities.