21 September 2006

Internet Addiction #107: The Classics

DJ Cayenne, my favorite contributor and literary guide at Baby Got Books, just got me hooked on another online addiction: DailyLit.

It’s a simple, why-didn’t-I-think-of-it concept. DailyLit has compiled a collection of books in the public domain, those with expired copyrights (read: the classics). You sign up for your free subscription, select the time and frequency for receiving each installment, pick a book … and DailyLit e-mails your book in small chunks, something you can read in a few minutes. The selection is pretty darn good. Want more info? Most of your questions will be answered in DailyLit’s FAQs.

I’m starting off with George Eliot’s Silas Marner, which has been on my reading list for decades. It’s coming to me in 84 parts, delivered to my inbox every morning at 5 a.m. I read the third installment this morning right after I woke up, as my French press brewed my coffee.

It was at this point in their history that Silas's cataleptic fit occurred during the prayer-meeting; and amidst the various queries and expressions of interest addressed to him by his fellow-members, William's suggestion alone jarred with the general sympathy towards a brother thus singled out for special dealings. He observed that, to him, this trance looked more like a visitation of Satan than a proof of divine favour, and exhorted his friend to see that he hid no accursed thing within his soul.

Sure, at this pace it will take me nearly three months to read Silas Marner, but I have the luxury of reading it more slowly, savoring each installment, instead of devouring page after page, possibly missing some of the beauty of her language. I’ve been too distracted the last few months to sit down and enjoy reading a novel — short stories and flash fiction have been my literary bread and butter since July — so the daily deliveries are in line with my attention span. If you simply cannot wait, you can request that the next part be sent immediately … but I’m going for slow and intimate this round.

And it will keep my brain busy until Tim Sandlin’s new book,Jimi Hendrix Turns Eighty, comes out in January.

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8 Comments:

At 9/21/2006 10:43:00 AM, Blogger Peter said...

I feel like Michael Corleone, "they keep pulling me back in." What an awesome idea, now I'll definitely never get any work done. It's great that they're selecting from classic lit. "read more Charles Dickens" has been on my to do list for too long.

 
At 9/21/2006 01:39:00 PM, Blogger barista brat said...

thank you for posting this link!!!!
i'm heading over to check their selection right now.

 
At 9/21/2006 03:55:00 PM, Blogger Grant Miller said...

Hmmm. I wonder if I can get The Official Site Of Grant Miller onto DailyLit? Or at least taught in schools.

 
At 9/21/2006 04:01:00 PM, Blogger Paul M. Sark said...

Thanks, Beth,

I just signed up for 'THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE.'

But not because I think that Me & George W. have anything to fear.

I'm just interested, that's all.

 
At 9/21/2006 04:12:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

PETER: But they come in short installments, so it's easy to read without interfering with the work day. (Good to see your cute Muppet head back on my comment page, BTW).

BRAT: We'll have to chat about what we're reading, sort of an online book club.

GRANT MILLER: It should be. But are you ready to relinquish the rights now that Hollywood is snooping on your pages?

MR. SARK: Of course you have nothing to fear. Satan always wins ... until the final chapter.

 
At 9/21/2006 06:25:00 PM, Blogger Dale said...

I'm heading over to check that out, it's a great idea. Do you know if they have any Grant Miller yet?

 
At 9/21/2006 09:30:00 PM, Anonymous DJ Cayenne said...

Thanks for the props, Linky. I'll be linking right back this way to your REM induction post as I post on some musical adventures of my own.

 
At 9/21/2006 10:26:00 PM, Blogger Old Lady said...

Cool beans!

 

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