image Old news, of course—but it’s still good to see the mainstream press finally grasping that cell phone might turn out to be a more popular reading platform over the long run than Kindle-style dedicated readers.

Excerpt from BusinessWeek article:

Adam Parks is an avid reader of digital books. But you won’t find him downloading the 20 or so titles he reads each year onto an electronic book device like  Amazon’s Kinde.Instead, Parks flips through pages—Web-site design manuals and Sun Tzu’s The Art of War are recent favorites—on his trusted iPhone…

Some book publishers embrace the mobile-book trend and see it as a way to attract new readers. “There’s a chance for us as publishers to reach a wider audience, maybe people who weren’t walking into the bookstore or going to Amazon,” says Matt Shatz, vice-president for digital at Random House. “The opportunity is a lot greater via a phone than for a physically printed book.” In the coming years, the cell phone may become the most popular vehicle for reading digital books as well, Shatz says. Analysts estimate the makers of e-readers have sold fewer than 1 million units since the devices were introduced. But cell-phone makers shipped 36.5 million smartphones, capable of carrying e-books, in the third quarter of 2008 alone, according to Gartner.

Stanza News: The Stanza bookshop is up to 100,000 titles, of which about 50,000 are free, according to Lexcycle as quoted in BizWeek. Downloads are reaching 40,000 a day.

The public library angle: How long until Stanza or eReader gets serious after the library market with iPhone and Touch users in mind? This would be a great fit and go well with libraries’ mission of serving the cash-strapped, not just the middle class. Low-income people are buying far, far more iPhones than dedicated e-book readers.