Already 50,000 people have enrolled in Daily Lit, which currently offers 370 titles from the public domain, free of charge. Soon the site will expand to charge for daily excerpts of newer work. No doubt certain texts – Lydia Davis stories, poems by Basho – might lend themselves to the DailyLit treatment, providing a short liberation from the drudgeries of the day. But big novels aren’t meant to be noshed on like an energy bar, wedged in between breakfast and dinner. At their best, they open up vistas of freedom beyond our daily habits and obligations. Opt for the bite-sized version if you like. But God forbid I come to look forward to Tolstoy with the same dread with which I approach my inbox.
Well, yes, but people could be reading worse things, right? Or not reading at all – but, going back for another excerpt:
Daily Lit seems to represent the unexamined costs of the information age’s promises of convenience. Is yet another daily email really the solution to too much email? … Does one find time, or does one make it?
I took a look around at the DailyLit site and signed up for a couple; I’ll examine the cost of the information age’s promises of convenience for you, dear reader. The site also offers daily updates via RSS; as such, I’m adding a daily dose of Chekhov to the sidebar, right below the Roundup.