Reading Books On Twitter

My partner Albert and his wife Susan started a cool company last year called DailyLit. The idea behind DailyLit is you subscribe to a book and they deliver it in short bits to your email every day. I’ve read Dracula and Moby Dick this way and it’s a fun and easy way to read a book.

Yesterday DailyLit announced three daily read books on Twitter. They are:

by Tom Peters

The way this works is if you follow any of these books on Twitter (click on the links above to do that), each day you’ll get a tweet with a link to the section of the book to read that day.

Email is an easier way to read (particularly on a mobile device), but the neat thing about daily reads on twitter is that there will be a group of people reading the book at the same time you are. I can see @replies and conversations developing around these group reads.

It will be fun to see how this works out. I’ll be reading Cory’s book. Join me if you’d like.

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Comments (Archived):

  1. S.t

    Holy Jeez this is a great idea

  2. ErikSchwartz

    I read the headline and I though I would be reading books 140 characters at a time.

    1. Dorian Benkoil

      Yeah, mee too. I’m disappointed.

  3. Tony Confrey

    Penguin has also been experimenting with delivering books online as bite-sized chunks. They had a recent experiment that used Twitter, LiveJournal and Google Maps, see…Theres definitely a hunger among book publishers to figure out ways to leverage new media to deliver their content. I think as we all get reasonably sized screens on our handhelds online reading will get more popular. DailyLit is an interesting angle on it. The notion that I’m reading the book at the same time as others, in the same chunks, opens up a lot of possibilities to leverage social media to enhance the reading experience.-Tony

  4. jasonkolb

    Do you find that you actually read this every single day? Or do you let them pile up for a few days and then spend a day catching up? That seems to be my standard mode of operation with blog posts, anyway…

  5. gregory

    the conversation around the reading, possibly better than the book? i would not be surprised …. a shared solitary activity, the essence of the social web, now that i think of it …. 🙂

  6. GeorgeT6

    I have not quite made the plunge into Twitter but this seems just the thing to draw me in. Working, as I do, for a tech manufacutrer I could see applying this to a tech goup in reading white papers,etc.

  7. Holly Hoffman

    Sweet! I’ll be reading Pride & Prejudice (for the millionth time, thank you). This is awesome, and great for those of us who can’t actually find a worthwhile book club.

  8. adityagada

    hey i dont know who you are but your one of the person i am in search of to anwser the question i have posted on . Can you pls check out and answer it ???

  9. Nick Molnar

    This is something that has been going on in Japan for a few years now (South Korea too). Techcrunch wrote about it in December…. Seems like most things in the mobile sector hit Japan 2-3 years before they become popular stateside (see: 3G, cameraphones, SMS). Dailylit’s timing might just be right.

    1. Nick Molnar

      The important distinction between what is going on in Japan and what Dailylit is doing is that the Japanese books are being written on mobile devices for mobile devices. I think it takes a particular style of writing to work on a mobile device. Self help might work as-is because it is designed to be bite-sized, but Pride and Prejudice probably won’t.

      1. Susan Danziger

        Actually, thousands of people have already read Pride and Prejudice in short installments via DailyLit. Since each installment is about a thousand words (under 5 minutes of reading), a book that may seem daunting to read suddenly becomes quite manageable. In fact, this is very much in the tradition of serialization when Dickens’ books were initially released in installments in weekly newspapers (and each weekly installment was approximately 5000 words).

        1. Nick Molnar

          Interesting, I had no idea about that little piece of history. I still maintain that this format will serve certain genres far better than others. In Japan, the most popular forms of keitai shousetsu are pulp fiction/romance, which seems like an appropriate type of content for the medium. A novel by Michael Ondaatje, however, would not be well served being broken into discrete chunks. It has flow and style and complexity that would be lost reading it over a period of weeks. I’m not sure if pulp fiction will be the dominant form of American mobile reading, there are massive cultural differences, but I doubt that success in hardcover will ever function as a valid proxy for success on the mobile.Does anyone know if Dailylit is planning on adding a mobile uploading capability? I guess anyone could put something like that together with twitter-rss capability and a blog, though.

          1. Susan Danziger

            Not sure what you mean by “mobile uploading capability”. Please explain.Thanks.

          2. Nick Molnar

            I mean books from mobile to mobile

          3. Nick Molnar

            I mean books written from mobile —> read on mobile

          4. Susan Danziger

            We would certainly consider it, although for now we are focusing on bestselling titles; books by well-known authors; and works that have been critically well-reviewed.

          5. Susan Danziger

            …do you think books written on mobile devices would be of interest to readers here?

        2. fredwilson

          The sign of a good web company: when the ceo replies to comments in blog posts about her product. Well done

  10. smilbandit

    I looked into dailylit but it didn’t really click for me. My daughter (8) loves getting email. I send her emails and get other family members to send them also because none of her friends are using the internet for more then webkinz. It would be an interesting to see if she would like to get a book via email everyday, for some light summer reading. A childrens book and a wikipedia tour might be perfect.

  11. simondodson

    dam . count me in..

  12. Dhru Purohit

    I just installed it. Thinking about how I will use it.

  13. auston

    Fred, you’re the greatest man!

  14. Adrian

    Good stuff, great idea!

  15. Jason Preston

    You know, it seems to me like one of those twitterbots (like @winetweets) would be a great way to aggregate the conversation around any particular book.I don’t have the technical know-how to set one up, but doing something like @dailylitconvo whenever you wanted to discuss a theme, issue, idea, or anything related to the current books could be cool. Or maybe a bot for each book.