Maybe the single most important reason for reading books by email is convenience. Come to think of it, when we spend most of our waking hours staring at a computer screen and reading all sorts of stuff like emails, tweets, social scraps, and feeds – why should books be left behind?
Simply reading books has never been easier. If reading is a passion for you, then you probably know all about book recommendation sites. You also probably download books in ePub and PDF format and read them on the screen. Throw reading via email into the mix and you get another choice to try out.
Reading books by email could be worth a shot if you are trying to interest yourself or someone else in different genres. You can try out email sized chunks each day and see if your interest holds. Here are three web services that send you portions of books by email. It costs just your time.
As the site explains, it is similar to being drip fed a book one day at a time. Dripread is an absolutely free book website that works by letting you upload your own ebooks in the EPub format or picking one from the existing library. Dripread stores the ebook and serializes a page to the reader’s email address. You don’t have to create an account to use Dripread though that helps to upload your own ebooks and keep track of them. You can also share your ebooks from your account.
All books on Dripread are free of copyright and are in the Public Domain. One of the interesting developments on Dripread is that they are trying to make available Open University lectures. The collection of books is not vast yet, but some of the titles are classics…always worth a read.
DailyLit probably best defines this type of web reading. It is also perhaps the best site on reading books by email or RSS that’s out there. The sign-up is free and then you can fill out your profile information. Getting a free account helps because then you can participate in the forum, create book lists, keep track of new books, get personalized book recommendations, and more.
DailyLit not only helps you read books on email and RSS but also on other devices like Treo, Blackberry, Sidekick or any other the PDA of your choice. Books are sent out as excerpts (installments) and you opt for the frequency of emails in tune with your comfort. You can set a maximum of four installments to be sent out with each delivery. Each installment doesn’t take more than 5 minutes to read.
DailyLit makes many books available that may not be free otherwise thanks to sponsors. Some books have free sections that readers can subscribe to. Installments are formatted in HTML or kept in plain text. You can make book requests in the forums if you don’t see a book of your choice in the large collection.
I couldn’t try out Dearreader.com because it connects book lovers to U.S and Canadian public libraries only. The idea of this online book club is pretty cool – throughout the week readers get an email with a 5 minute long excerpt of the featured book of the week. By the end of the week, readers go through 2 to 3 chapters of a book, and get a fair idea if it’s a good match for them. It’s the right kind of gentle prod if you want to take up reading as a hobby.
The site is run by Suzanne Beecher who maintains a blog on the site. The site is not for reading books cover to cover but more for discovering your book reading tastes using the 5 minute sample books in your email inbox.
Of these three, my vote goes to DailyLit. It is well rounded and looks most likely to survive the churn that goes on in the web. Reading books by email is another offbeat but easy way for book lovers.
Are you aware of any other website that lets you read books by email?
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