This post is for you, Todd.
Alright, so I stole the tag line for this post’s title directly from the Daily Lit site, but since I’m talking about the unique service they provide, I’m hoping it’s alright. While watching my daily dose of Rocketboom I was clued in to a fantastic service that provides a twist on the old serialized novel. Rather than sit down with a lengthy tome or find time to read a few chapters uninterrupted, Daily Lit allows you to read many books in the public domain via e-mail.
Imagine how engaging this might be to a teenager, too involved with his game of World of Warcraft, or too busy chatting on IM to bother to pick up his copy of The Scarlet Letter and read it. Just visit the Dailylit.com site and find the book you want to read, type in your e-mail, and it will be sent to you, bit by bit in serialized fashion for easier reading and digesting. The aforementioned Scarlet Letter comes in 83 bite sized pieces, making it a very enticing alternative to sitting down and staring at a copy of the book and the 8 chapters left to read. What’s even better is that the site allows you to set up an e-mail schedule, so each new part of the book appears in your inbox when you need it. Whether it be daily or just on weekdays, you can tell the service when during the day you’d like it delivered, and if you happen to find yourself with a little extra time each part comes delivered with a link to “send me the next part immediately” so you don’t have to wait a day to continue the book.
The site itself makes an excellent case for such a service on their FAQ page. Almost everyone has time to read a few e-mails (unless you’re one of the unlucky individuals drowning it electronic mail), but many find it difficult to find an hour or two to dedicate just to reading. Personally, I rarely read for pleasure during the school year because there’s so much going on with schoolwork, staying up on Education news and tech blogs. However, finding a little bit of time to read one of the 131 parts of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes would be perfectly plausible. I would hope that this service would also give those high school, and possibly middle school, students enough encouragement to read at their own pace in a setting they’re much more familiar and engaged with; the online world. Whether it be in front of their computers at home, on handhelds, or internet capable cellphones, students would have access to the books whenever they found the time to read through another quick part.