Bookly – The Library on Your Cellphone

In 2013 NATIVE VML developed a mobile reading and writing app with the goal of improving literacy in South Africa. We called it bookly. To launch the app, we spoke to South African book publisher Modjadji Books about launching their latest novel, Fiona Snyckers' Team Trinity via bookly.

Case study

Accessible literature in an unlikely place.

When South African author Fiona Snyckers approached us to launch her new novel "Team Trinity", we needed to find a way to successfully compete with everything that claims today's tween's attention.


Kids just don't read anymore. It's all cellphones, Beliebering, Whatsapp and the most popular thing in South Africa - Mxit. To add to it all, tablets and e-readers are generally reserved for use by an elite minority.


Build the most sophisticated e-book reader ever developed for Mxit; bringing smartphone functionality to the feature phone. It's called bookly and it offers free, quality literature to South African youth at no cost.


After only two months, bookly received over 6,2 million page views and more than 430,000 unique visitors. In a country plagued by illiteracy, where access to decent reading and educational material is reserved for the elite few, bookly has made reading more accessible - giving millions of children their very own library on their very own cellphone.

Awards & Recognition

Futurebook Innovation Awards
New York Festivals
AdReview Awards
Bookmarks Awards