DailyLit is a great new way to look busy and tackle some of the classics that you’ve been meaning to read. The free service will e-mail you bite-sized chunks of books that are in the public domain at intervals that you specify. I’ve signed up Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, which will come my way in 241 separate e-mails, M-F. I’ve received two sections, and so far I’m a fan. If you get to a cliff hanger, the e-mail allows you to click a link to get the next section immediately.
If you’re a fan of audio books, LibriVox provides public domain books in MP3 format for ready download to your iPod. The books are read aloud by volunteers, and you can sign up to read sections of your favorite classics. I tried this service out about five months ago. I downloaded P.G. Wodehouse’s Psmith in the City, and it is still on my iPod, largely unheard. I found that settings where I listen to my iPod, the gym, the bus, the train, planes, etc., were not conducive to focusing on a story. Your mileage may vary. If you’re wondering if audio books “count” as reading, a real-life librarian says yes, “as long as they’re unabridged.”
In other news: last week-ish BoingBoing pointed the way to a hilarious, 70′s vintage, German sex-ed book for small children. You won’t need to understand German to enjoy the book. The illustrations tell you everything that you need to know and then some. I’m pretty sure this book will scar your child for life