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Image: Amazon. Manga: Yowamushi Pedal, by Wataru Watanabe. (c) Wataru Watanabe (Weekly Shonen Champion)

Manga, a style of Japanese comics and graphic novels, has long been considered a niche genre, outside of the mainstream literature. They are often stigmatized as low-brow literature, or seen as kid’s books.

But these books have been going through somewhat of a genesis in the past decade, becoming more popular than ever and increasingly being recognized for their artistic value.

Amazon is getting in on the action with a new Kindle upgrade announced today that aims to make Manga easier to read on Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Voyage and Kindle Oasis.

Title: Yowamushi Pedal Author: Wataru Watanabe (c) Wataru Watanabe (Weekly Shonen Champion)
Image: Amazon. Manga: Yowamushi Pedal, by Wataru Watanabe. (c) Wataru Watanabe (Weekly Shonen Champion)

Graphic novels and comics have little text on each page. Instead, much of the story and artistry is in the novels’ illustrations, which makes for a unique reading experience but also means graphic novels tend to be much longer than your average book.

Readers flip from page to page quickly, and in e-formats the constant page turning can slow down a reader. To tackle that issue, the Kindle upgrade will include 33 percent faster page turns, and will also introduce a tap-and-hold feature that allows readers to quickly skim through pages.

Kindle already supports Manga in double-page layouts, and allows users to zoom in on artwork for closeups. The new upgrades are part of a free, over-the-air upgrade for Kindle users that will roll out later this month.

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