Before this week I’d never really heard much about DailyLit, a site that Emails you books in short, easily-consumable chunks. But after a few days of receiving The Count of Monte Cristo in my Email inbox every morning, I think I may be hooked – these serialized novels couldn’t be more perfect for a 10 minute coffee break or waiting at the bus stop.
To use the site, you choose a novel from DailyLit’s catalog of over 1300 novels, many of which are free. Each book is broken up into dozens (or hundreds, depending on the length) of installments, each of which is supposed to take around 5 minutes to read. You can tell the site exactly what time you’d like to receive each update, which can be sent either via Email or in an RSS feed, and how many chunks you’d like to receive at a time. And if you just can’t wait to see what happens next, you can also immediately download the next section of a book using a link at the bottom of every Email.
DailyLit has also recently launched public reading groups, which broadcast links to the current segment over Twitter. Because the books are being sent over Email, they can be read from nearly any mobile device with a dataplan. My only gripe with the service is that there seem to be few current bestsellers, which means you’ll need to look elsewhere for more recent novels.
Of course, with the growing popularity of Ebook readers like the Kindle and books on the iPhone App Store, DailyLit may seem pointless – why chop a book up when you can download the entire thing at once? But there’s something about receiving stories in these bite sized chunks that make them much more appealing – reading a 400 page novel on my iPhone’s 3.5 inch screen has always seemed like a daunting (and painful) endeavor, but when it’s only for a few minutes at a time, it couldn’t be any more convenient.
Thanks to Christian Bogeberg for the tip.