Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Reading Aids

I have recently come across two items that I think fit under the "All Things Reading" category and I thought I would share them.

For those of us not yet owners of a Kindle or a Nook, there is another way to read books on a smart phone or a computer through DailyLit. The site has a selection of over 900 books. Once you select a book and provide an email address you will receive the book in installments. You can review the books by Title, Author, Category or Length of Book (Dickens might take months). You can select the frequency of installments (daily, weekdays, selected days, etc.). You can adjust the length of the installment, the font and font size. The site also has forums to discuss the books, ask questions about the books, etc. And it's all free. I think this would work best on a smart phone or a netbook, on the bus to work, in a cafe with a cup of coffee. I signed up to read The Diary of a Superfluous Man by Turgenev in 21 installments. One more reason to get that Droid phone now!

I am a faithful reader of David Pogue's column in the Thursday print edition of the New York Times. On the last day of the year he gave out his Pogie awards for the best tech ideas of the year. This is what he had to say for one of them:

"READABILITY The single best tech idea of 2009, though, the real life-changer, has got to be Readability. It’s a free button for your Web browser’s toolbar (get it at When you click it, Readability eliminates everything from the Web page you’re reading except the text and photos. No ads, blinking, links, banners, promos or anything else. Times Square just goes away.

You wind up with a simple, magazine-like layout, presented in a beautiful font and size (your choice) against a white or off-white background with none of this red-text-against-black business.

You occasionally run into a Web page that Readability doesn’t handle right — no big deal, just refresh the page to see the original. But most of the time, Readability makes the world online a calmer, cleaner, more beautiful place.

Go forth and install it."

How great is that! Enjoy.

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