Re- experiencing the classics

Even though I could not find Stendhal’s The Red and the Black there, the chance discovery of the Dailylit site (viaVincent McCaffery’s twitter feed), has made me go back to re- reading Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov with gusto. There are many sites that have for long provided digital books, particularly of out-of-copyright books. I haven’t had a very good experience reading them, unless the books are short enough to be printed on a regular printer and then read later. Reading long texts on MS Word is possible since there is the provision of adding bookmarks. However, it is tedious, and returning to where I left off reading a book is not always possible. What makes Dailylit very unique is it  has the option of sending the text of books in installments, via email but more usefully, as an RSS feed. Since Google reader is part of my daily routine, I find it much more convenient reading a book via the RSS feed. At the end of the feed, there is a link which when clicked posts the next installment into the reader, making it self- paced.

I remember the time when I started reading the Russian classics as a student- they were bought at a Soviet book outlet in Chandigarh, and sometimes borrowed from the local state or university library, then read in a frenzy- sometimes overnight. A regular job now makes it impossible to devote nights, let alone days, to such reading. However, it is still possible to snatch a few moments when I can read during work. The duration of such frenzied reading  is now reduced to  moments stolen between meetings and other such professional hazards- which is why, for me, the possibility of reading via RSS feeds is so exciting.

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bhupinder singh

reader, mainly and an occasional blogger

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