Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Books on Phone Akin to Snakes on Plane?

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

Today marks the first day that 76 book titles will be available for your cell phones via Moka. Yet, we wonder if this books on phone thing isn't similar to Snakes on a Plane -- good idea in theory (might be cool, might inspire a cultish following), but a disaster in reality. As with the film, we're betting that such a lofty idea - who ever heard of books on phones (or, for that matter, snakes on a plane) - will come down to the execution. Will they be easy to read? Which books can you get? How much does it cost? Is Samuel L. Jackson going to botch the whole thing and take it all way too seriously? And so on...

A quick look at the offerings makes one thing clear: you won't be reading War & Peace on your Blackberry anytime soon. All the titles available for purchase are of the self-help, philosophy, daily affirmation variety -- which allows Moka to send you small tidbits of the books at a time, doling out wisdom in teeny cliff-note bites. If you had no intention of reading longer tomes on your phone (because, who would?), you're in luck. Many of the titles lend themselves to zen-like texts delivered to you regularly, as you schedule them. Less War & Peace, more I Ching for your iPhone. Could be cool, could somehow run afoul like so many other good ideas.

Monthly service fees start at $5.95 and include access to all the books in the Moka library. Service is available on major wireless carriers such as AT&T, Sprint, Nextel and Verizon. At six bucks a month (you spend more on ringtones!), would you sign up for books on your phone? We're holding out for the day when graphic novels are added to the list...but that's just us.