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  • Writer's pictureTrish Bentley

Come On People, Let’s Read More

To a New Year and Newer Literary Adventures

Being an avid reader, whose ever-growing appetite for literature doesn’t seem to be waning any time in the near future, I really do wish that one thing were on my side. And as cliché as it sounds, it is in fact, TIME.

One tiny word–four little letters–that weasels its way into our conversations and our rants and yet I still haven’t been able to grasp its concept and understand its secrets. Then again, who has?

I’ve been reading ever since I can remember; going through books almost as quickly as I would go through a box of chocolates! Almost! But not just any box of chocolates. My poison of choice: the beautifully wrapped golden globes of Ferrero Rocher–heaven. Again, I digress.

So, as someone who devours words, it has always been a goal of mine to read the classics.

From Dickens to Dumas,  Fitzgerald to Hemingway and hundreds of thousands of others; these writers–these artists, for writing truly is an art–have left us bits of themselves and their ‘time’ in the works that have succeeded them and those which they have inspired.

Wouldn’t it be ideal to just grab A Clockwork Orange and finish it in one sitting if you felt like it? Or to consume Tolstoy, savoring each paragraph without the worry of pending exams, the following week’s dinner schedule or tomorrow’s mandatory staff meeting at its unearthly hour?

So pray tell, how can you possibly find a way to read about Jane Eyre or the sisters Bennett or about Mrs. Dalloway saying that she’ll buy the flowers herself?

Well, a friend of mine told me about something. She had read about it and she couldn’t wait to let me know.

I think it’s a possible solution–alas, only a temporary one–to our current predicaments. It will do, until someone figures out how to lengthen our day by a few more hours, without, of course, throwing the whole universe off balance.

So some of you or most of you may be wondering whether or not I need to see a professional, but if you’re still with me because you’re even the slightest bit intrigued, I thank you and advise you to hang tight! is a website that emails out little excerpts to subscribers, of titles of their choosing and at their preferred times.

First, you need to create an account. Simple enough.

Next, opt for poetry or fiction–any genre of your choice and then choose a title from an impressive list. I was surprised to see the collection of titles, both old and new. There’s something for everyone.

And then, the best part…pick when (what time of day/night) and how frequently you want to receive the excerpts. Maybe the weekends or perhaps every other day; simply choose what works for YOU.

Say you have 15 minutes to spare between three and four o’clock or some time on the train ride to work or class in the mornings and need something to do, this is an option…

Every day (of your choosing) you’ll be sent a short excerpt (of average length). And if you have some time or the desire, at the end of the page you can decide whether or not you want to be sent the next installment immediately. If not, then it will simply appear in your inbox as scheduled. You also can pause the emails, if you get too busy and then continue them again at a later time. I haven’t yet tried out this ‘pause’ feature, so I can’t give you any feedback on it yet.

Now, I understand that this may not appeal to everyone, but I personally loved the idea. I recently finished A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, which is something I have been meaning to do for far too long. And I am glad that I did. I definitely recommend it.

Since then, I’ve embarked on a new journey, that of Anna Karenina. Now, I own Tolstoy’s epic, but it’s the size of a small island and I’d most definitely throw out my back toting it around. But I’ve begun to re-read it, little bits at a time each day. My train ride–about less than half of it–is dedicated to Anna, Vronsky and their contemporaries. I may be an optimist, but I am also a realist. So I know that I won’t be finishing the novel come next week, but if I follow the schedule, then it shouldn’t be too bad!

I understand that there’s most likely already a ton of unwanted junk clogging up your inboxes. Out of my sheer laziness to click the ‘unsubscribe’ link, I spend–more accurately, waste–my time deleting emails morning, afternoon and night.

But what’s one more subscription?


Don’t answer that!

Honestly, this is just one reader hoping to shed some light on another reader’s dilemma. It’s an option that’s free and bears no weight. I mean I love reading books–literally. The ability to turn the pages and hear them rustle under my fingertips is something I’ll never feel with an e-reader. There’s just something about curling up on the couch with a good book, a blanket and something hot to drink. But sometimes they are a lot to carry.

Just thought I’d share.

Happy reading!

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