When I wrote my editor’s note for the most recent issue of REaD ALERT, spelling out my lack of enthusiasm for e-readers, I forgot to mention something: I am reading War and Peace via e-mail. A grievous omission? Perhaps. But the break from more mundane business has become so integrated into my morning routine that, truly, it slipped my mind. It’s only about five minutes a day, anyway, so it’s not really adding to my screen fatigue.
As mentioned in the long-ago post linked above, it took me a while to get used to reading great literature in such an ephemeral format, but now I’m hooked–and, just this morning, I read installment 445 (out of 675) of Leo Tolstoy’s classic. Sure, I’d rather be reading a nice leatherbound edition while seated in a comfortable armchair, but first I’d need a leatherbound edition–and then I’d need a comfortable armchair. (The real problem is that almost all of my reading time is taken up by reviewing contemporary works.)
The service is called DailyLit; I chose War and Peace partly because I’d made fun of the idea–the work itself seemed like a particularly poor choice for inbox reading–but partly because it was free, unlike many of the other serialized works on the site. Now DailyLit announces that everything is free. I haven’t taken a look to see what “everything” might entail, but you might want to. Me? I’m still busy following Pierre through the battle of Borodino.