Now I shouldn't say this, as the only format for which my stories are currently on sale is the iPhone, but I'm not yet convinced that this is the future of reading - or if it is, I'm not necessarily convinced it's as happy a future as the ones we've reached already. I am a supporter of new technology though, so in a spirit of optimism I've thought hard, and I've decided there are at least three scenarios in which you would be very grateful for reading on a smart phone. To enumerate:
1. You are outside, reading in the park. There is an unexpected total eclipse of the sun. This five minute event would not be a great intrusion on your reading but unfortunately your girlfriend is so shocked that she suffers an epileptic fit. As this is the first time this has ever happened, you need to know what to do to help her, or whether you should do anything at all. You know you have the relevant medical advice on your smartphone. The backlit screen enables you to find out what to do immediately. Thus educated, you do not try to intervene during the fit, and everyone is able to learn from the experience without regret.
2. One dark night, nuclear war has broken out. Russia and America are lobbing missiles at each other overarm. The affair is entirely between those two countries alone, over the result of a disputed Olympic ice hockey semi-final. London, despite not necessarily being on any direct path between the two countries, which should probably be aiming at each other across the pole or the Bering Strait, somehow gets caught in the cross anyway as no-one has told the missile targeting systems that the world is round and the Mercator projection maybe not the best way to fight a war. You are not in the big city at the time, but the power goes out where you are visiting friends in Chuffing Norton. If you can find your phone in the first place, you will immediately be able to look to Cormac McCarthy for advice as to what to do after civilisation has been destroyed, thus giving you an early competitive advantage over all the other wandering Chuffing Nortoners for food and water. Could you do that with a conventional book? No. A Kindle? Don't make me laugh. Not unless you had the reading light attachment.
3. Your wife has gone to bed, and turned out the lights. But you want to read in bed by the light of your phone anyway, mainly to really annoy her and vainly try to recapture a funky blinded sensation you almost attained once when experimenting with banned substances.
I would very much like to see these scenarios represented in the next TV ad for iPhones. We need to be prepared.