I like for my blog to reflect a larger literary scene than just me, me, and me, so I don’t want my only post in three months to be about my own story. That said, I’ve been meaning to post about one of my new favorite ways to read. I’ve become an enthusiastic user of a site called Daily Lit, which splits up books into chunks that can be read in just a few minutes, and then delivers the chunks every day by e-mail or RSS (I strongly prefer RSS, since it doesn’t clutter up my inbox). They’ve got a strong library of classics (though I am always careful of public-domain translations), a surprisingly good collection of works published with a creative commons license, and a number of books that can be purchased and read in this format. If I want to read faster than one chunk a day, I just click to have the next post sent early.
My enthusiasm for the service stems from two main things. First, it’s a good format for making it through something I want to read that intimidates me. I know that reading a chunk a day works–that’s how I made it through Swann’s Way–but, ordinarily, it’s still easy to get stuck. By presenting me with the chunk, and keeping me from reading the same paragraph over and over, Daily Lit forestalls this. Second, the site does a great job of splitting up the book into logical chunks. It gives me a different view of how a book is put together. I see that tension gets built over lots of little pieces of action, not just in the “big scenes” where I feel my heart pounding. My experience so far is that I recall books better when I read them through Daily Lit, I think partly because it curbs the scanning habit I always try to fight.
It’s good to be back, and I thank Every Day Fiction for giving me the motivation…