Contents are actually an ironic jab at Japan’s holier-than-though critics of digital media consumption.

It’s gotten to the point where if you take a look around a Japanese train, most people will be absorbed in their smartphones, with those reading a physical book being a very tiny minority. Some would say this is a sad sign of the times, as society increasingly embraces flashy digital media and abandons the proud traditions of the printed page.

Such traditionalists might find them vigorously nodding their heads should they happen to spot someone staring intently at this.

A closer look reveals a bold proclamation written across the front of the cover and on its spine, with the Japanese text スマホをやめて本を読め reading Sumaho wo Yamete Hon wo Yome

…which translates to:

Stop Staring at Your Smartphone and Read a Book

Just the sort of harsh wisdom those techno-tranced Millennials need, right? Except, when we swing around and take a look from the reverse angle…

…we find that the joke is actually on uptight luddites, since this isn’t the cover for a high-minded paperback, but a smartphone. The clever design even has fake barcodes near the opening for the camera, to help disguise the black plastic housing for the lens.

▼ As an added bonus, using this as a foreigner will also have people thinking you’re a kanji-reading master.

The duplicitous accessory is the latest product from ekoD Works, the same company that previously had us all doing double takes with its T-shirt that seemingly gives the wearer large and shapely breasts through the power of optical illusion.

The smartphone-disparaging smartphone cover comes in four sizes: iPhone 6-8, iPhone 6-8 Plus, general-purpose medium (which fits smartphones 140 millimeters [5.5 inches] long and 77 millimeters wide), and general-purpose large (for smartphones measuring 150 by 85 millimeters). All are priced at 3,240 yen (US$30) here on ekoD Works’ online store, and are made of polyurethane and polycarbonate, to further twist the knife when technophobes discover that not even the cover is made of paper.

Source: ekoD Works via Twitter/@2gta9
Images: ekoD Works

Follow Casey on Twitter, where as much as he admires ekoD Works’ creativity, he wishes they hadn’t tried to get so clever with the capitalization of their name.