I read about Daily Lit at The Common Room last week:
Get thee to Daily Lit, where you can sign up for a bite sized daily dose of good reading:
sends books in installments via e-mail. DailyLit currently offers over
250 classic public domain titles that can be subscribed to and read in
their entirety for free. Popular titles include "The Art of War" by Sun
Tzu and "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen Readers can choose how
often and at what time they want the e-mails sent to them (e.g. every
weekday at 6:30am). Books on DailyLit can be read any place that a
reader receives e-mail, including on a PDA, Blackberry, Trio, etc. Each
installment of a book can be read in under 5 minutes, and if a reader
is done with a particular installment, a reader can receive the next
installment immediately in his/her e-mail Inbox. DailyLit has recently
added forums where readers can discuss their favorite books and
You can search by category, title, or
author. These are arranged alphabetically, of course, and once you’ve
chosen, say, all the ‘B’ titles, you can arrange those by length to
give you some idea of what you’re getting into. For instance, under
‘b,’ Herman Melville’s Bartleby will come to you in only 18 short and
easy parts, the gospel of Mark in 22, Charles Dickens’ Bleak House in
440 light installments.
Naturally I had to mosey over for a look-see. I signed up to receive Anna Karenina by email. Have never read it, have meant to for a long time. Wish I didn’t already know the ending.
I’ve received three email installments so far, and I’m surprised by how funny the opening of the book is. I had no idea it had any comic element at all. I’m enjoying it, but I don’t know if I’ll stick with the emails. It’s not just that a book is cozier, though that’s a lot of it. I’m feeling like reading a novel via email is coloring my experience with the book. I’m "hearing" it like I hear email: the conversational tone, the back-of-the-mind impression that what I’m reading is something transient, fleeting, something that can be deleted with the touch of a button.
The Deputy Headmistress revisited the subject yesterday, inviting readers to share the titles we’ve signed up for. I liked her list so much I went back and browsed the archives some more. Maybe nonfiction would work better for me via email?
You can also subscribe to a book’s feed, so that daily installments will show up in your feed reader. That’s exactly the idea I had last year, when I was tempted to create a Charlotte Mason blog that would work its way through her books. I was too busy, so I offered the idea up for grabs, and the amiable Amy took up the mission. I’ve been enjoying her daily CM installments ever since.
Since the RSS feed format has suited for CM, I decided to give it a try for a Daily Lit offering as well. One of the DHM’s picks was Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, which I haven’t read (except for quotes here and there) since college. High time I revisited it. There are so many great works available that I was tempted to sign up for a bunch, but I know I won’t be able to keep up. The TBR pile at my bedside has grown to ridiculous proportions. It was taller than Rilla, but it fell over. I think she pushed it.