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How to read all those Classics you’ve been meaning to get to. . .

Close you eyes for a moment, and think ahead to a crisp Fall day five years from now. How likely do you think it is that on that faraway day you will be able to say that you have read (in their entirety) at least 5 great classics since you read this post? Be honest, now! I know many of us have great intentions of getting all those wonderful books read, but realistically . . .

Let me put it this way: How many works of great literature have you read in the 5 years before now? If you’ve read lots of great lit, then wonderful!!! You have a really good chance of reading more in the future. But if you are like many busy parents, and you haven’t really found the time to read more than one or two since graduation, you probably will need to do something a little different, or you risk your life going by without ever getting around to most of them. Fortunately, there may be a way to get those books into your busy schedule, painlessly!

Check out DailyLit, the home of a truly fantastic idea. On DailyLit, you can sign up to receive installments of your chosen book via email (or in your RSS feed reader, if you prefer). The idea is to send segments that take 5 or 10 minutes at a time, and they are sent as frequently as you desire. This breaks an overwhelming task into very manageable, very do-able increments.

Relatively few people feel that they have the time to sit down and read a classic. Who has the spare hours, or the brainpower, to sit and focus on something that was written a hundred (or a thousand) years ago, when the laundry needs folding, and the children need feeding? I bet you have time to check your email, though! And even to surf a few great sites. For many of us, an extra 5 minutes can be added to our computer time without our even noticing! (Don’t worry, though – if you finish a segment and can’t wait to see what happens next, you can click to have another installment sent out immediately.)

I think this idea is tailor made for families. Imagine sharing a great book with your teenager (or your spouse, or both!) over the course of a few months. You are helping build a common family culture, you’re adding lots of material for dinnertime conversation, and you’re bonding with your family. What could be better? This idea works great for friends, too.

Another really great thing about DailyLit is that all of their classics (which are in the public domain) are free. So, go ahead and sign up for The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin if you want. Or try out the poems of Emily Dickinson. Or heck, go hog wild and sign up for War and Peace. It’s definitely worth 5 minutes of your time. And, it’s one way to guarantee that 5 years from now you’ll have read a whole lot of great books.

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