Readersforum's Blog

May 22, 2013

Mxit gets e-reader app

133093Native held the official launch of bookly, a sophisticated e-reader app available on the Mxit platform late last week.

Developed by Levon Rivers, authors can now launch their books to an audience of 7.3 million monthly active users and do it three weeks before the real-world launch in bookstores.

Publishers Random House Struik and Modjaji Books have stepped up as partners creating an appropriate focus on serialised South African novels.

Rivers explains how it works, “The app creates a virtual library on a cellphone, allowing users to browse books by name, author or genre. It has all the features of other electronic readers on more advanced devices. It saves your progress after each session and you can create your own virtual bookshelf of favourite reads.”

While offering a wide variety of books is important, Rivers is adamant that it will appeal directly to educators by providing access to books that pertain to the school syllabus. “From an education viewpoint, we are starting with the classics and planning to extend to set works and textbooks in the future. The most effective way to address South Africa’s poor literacy rates is to ensure that schoolchildren have access to books. Imagine if every child had their own library on their phone. The app will elevate general reading and literacy rates in South Africa. It is the cheapest and most accessible way to get books. We’ve also added a layer of gamification to encourage reading amongst the youth.”

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