Perhaps it's still too soon to see iPads in Pyongyang, but North Koreans are reported to be enjoying "a wealth" of e-books.
It's the miracle we all want to believe in – that our information age will allow us to put books, in digital or other format, into the hands of readers all over the globe. And now it seems that even North Koreans – living in one of the world's most cloistered countries – are reaping the benefits of that promise.
According to the Korea Times, South Korean activist Kim Seong-min has reported that Electronic Library Mirae (Future) 2.0, a North Korean e-book computer program, is allowing readers in North Korea to choose among a "wealth" of e-book titles.
Kim, a North Korean defector and founder of Free North Korea Radio, says that North Koreans are digging into e-books that range well beyond government propaganda. On the fiction side, Kim told the Korea Times that translations of Western classics such as Shakespeare's plays, "The Iliad," "Don Quixote," "Jane Eyre," "Les Misérables," and "Gone With The Wind" are among available titles. Nonfiction offerings mentioned by Kim include "political theories and history" and also "a variety of literature, song collections, and educational content such as dictionaries and books of facts."