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Book Blog - Likely Stories, by Keir Graff - Booklist Online

Likely Stories

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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008 4:24 pm
If I start now, I can be done by December 2009
Posted by: Keir Graff

More free stuff: books (well, some of them are free), in your in-box, in little bits (or, if you will, bytes), from Dailylit.com. But, asks Graeme Allister (“The book is dead… Long live inboxed gobbets!” theblogbooks, The Guardian), do we really want to read War and Peace in 675 sittings?

Despite this flexibility, there’s a certain sterility in reading in ready-sized portions. Perhaps it’s a little too reminiscent of homework. Then there’s the problem of reading a screen, a sensation which, in my opinion, doesn’t really lend itself to fiction. Does anyone else find this? It’s not just that I miss the romance of curling up with a good book. It’s a matter of distraction, as an email pops up in mid-sentence, or the prose is suddenly overtaken by a corporate screensaver.

I think this is exactly what some readers want: reading as exercise, an act of self-improvement to be added to the daily routine and then accomplished through a sheer act of will.

But, thankfully, not too many of them.

From the You’ve Got a Point There Department:

Whether said as an apology, boast or sidestep, “I’ve no time to read” crops up whenever books are mentioned. (And it only ever applies to books – when have you ever heard anyone say they don’t have time for TV or music?)

2 Responses to “If I start now, I can be done by December 2009”
  1. Book Blog - Likely Stories, by Keir Graff - Booklist Online » Blog Archive » Speaking of… Says:

    [...] …fiction-delivery vehicles, after poking a little fun at DailyLit.com and the idea of reading War and Peace via e-mail, I thought, what the hell, you never know until you try. So I subscribed, and this morning I read chunklet 13 of 675. It sure isn’t ideal, because when you’re checking you’re e-mail you’re not really in an enjoy-great-literature frame of mind–also, if you haven’t had your coffee yet and you need to refresh your memory, you have to find the previous e-mail instead of simply turning to the previous page. And yet. I’ve never read War and Peace, and have always wanted to, and am continuing to do so. [...]

  2. Book Blog - Likely Stories, by Keir Graff - Booklist Online » Blog Archive » War and Peace in Pieces Says:

    [...] back on February 27, I poked fun at the idea of reading War and Peace via e-mail. A little while later, I thought, what the hell, you never know until you try. This morning I read [...]


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