Daily Lit: Books by Chapter, Now for Free


With all the hype surrounding e-readers this holiday season, it’s easy to forget that there are still plenty of other avenues for reading on a screen. One of those is Daily Lit, a handy site that delivers books chapter by chapter to your inbox or your RSS reader, allowing you to read Dickens by installment – the way he intended. Some of the site’s offerings are a bit slanted toward the public domain, but it beats squinting at a .pdf file on Scribd, paging through the Google Books interface, or dropping a chunk of change on Amazon’s one-use device. Best of all, the site is now free, making it a cinch to catch up at work, on the subway, or on vacation, without lugging along a hardback.

Clearly, Daily Lit’s subscriber base expects the free model to be sustainable, since one of the site’s most popular titles is War and Peace, which clocks in at 663 installments. At one installment a week, that’ll take over 12 years.

Never fear, though, there are plenty of quirky classics available in smaller serving sizes. On our first trip through the archives, we signed up for some Poe short stories, as well as intriguing works by Henry Ford and Frank Lloyd Wright. You can browse by category to find your own.

Daily Lit also features “Wikipedia tours,” which are pretty much what it says on the box – a survey of Wikipedia articles on a given subject, also delivered to you in installments. The current offerings are on rather dry subjects such as wine, cheese, world capitals, and key philosophers; as anyone who has lost an afternoon of productivity can tell you, though, it’s the obscure gems that really make Wikipedia a rabbit hole.

At this price, though, it’s worth waiting to see the selection expand.