21 August 2007

Painlessly Reading the Classics

So I discovered this really cool thing the other day...reading books via email. Daily Lit will send an easily consumable chunk of a book to your email at an interval of your choosing. Check out some info from thier website:

Why read books by email?
Because if you are like us, you spend hours each day reading email but don't find the time to read books. DailyLit brings books right into your inbox in convenient small messages that take less than 5 minutes to read. This works incredibly well not just on your computer but also on a Treo, Blackberry, Sidekick or whatever the PDA of your choice.

How long does it take to read a book? That depends on three factors. First, on how many installments are in the book (shown when you browse for books). Second, on how frequently you choose to receive emails. Third, on how often you read more than one installment (by using the "send me the next installment immediately" feature). So here is a typical example. I am currently reading Dracula, which has 187 installments and I am receiving installments on weekdays, i.e. 5 days/week. So at most it will take me 187/5 = 37 weeks. But when I am on the train or waiting, I often read more than one installment, so I usually wind up reading about 10 installments/week. This means I will finish Dracula in about 19 weeks or 5 months. If that seems long to you, try something shorter!

It's really quite a cool concept. You don't even have to register or anything. Most of their available selections are of the classic Lit variety, many of which fall into the category of "I have a degree in English Lit and am alleged to be a well read person and I can't believe I haven't ever read Moby Dick or whatever so don't tell anyone and blow my cover." Now I can tackle a great work in tasty bite-sized morsels consumed right at my desk (while on a break, of course). I started out easy with authors I already like: F. Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise and Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. Anyway, thought I would spread the word to the 2 people who read this blog. Enjoy.

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