How to Read 4 Classical Novels in a Month


"If you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly.” ~ Arnold Edinborough

Sunlight shining on a library of booksI’ve finished reading four classical novels last month without even touching a single page. In all simplicity, I just made better use of my beat mobile phone and portable music player and a couple of very generous websites.

While the methods are unconventional, I’ve covered more classical literature in a month than I ever have by means of holding processed trees. Al Gore would have been proud.

Reading from mobile phones

I’ve seen a lot of variations to Classic Reader, and with web enabled phones, available books in the public domain are a plenty accessible. And 3G phones & services are fungi-like accessible these days. Reading from your web-enabled phones can make quite a company as you wait that call/SMS/taxi. Plus, reading from your phone makes the pages easier to bookmark. Just leave your phone’s web browser open and you can finish the chapter in some other time.

The more reasons to love cellular technology, eh? Who would have thought that a phone could compensate visits to the library/bookstore? 

For those who read for the sake of the prestige of being able to flip your hand and say “I’ve read Tolstoy/Twain/Chekhov…” go ahead and drool.

Problems with reading from mobile phones

  1. Depending on your phone screen size and optic strength, you might need to squint from time to time. And with text as long as the Russian literature (and I fuss about this because they’re my favorites), reading from a phone screen can be quite tasking after a while.

  2. I’m easily motion sick. The last time I tried reading in a car, my breakfast exited my gastric system from THE WRONG ORIFICE. Not being able to read/write while traveling would not be so bad it weren’t the most bored I could ever be in my life.

  3. The problem with reading from the web-enabled phone is the same problem with the internet in general: DISTRACTION. I managed to read an entire chapter. While waiting for the next chapter to load, I steal a quick peak at Gmail. Facebook notifications. Twitter replies. Ooh, let me reply to that SMS. And never go back to that Next Chapter of whatever that book was.

Which is why this next method of indulging in classical literature has been getting me all gushed and hot with excited anticipation.

Reading Audio Books

Audio books are awesome, I don’t know why I’ve never done them before.

Every physical downside of reading the classic have been fixed by having someone else read to me. No motion sickness, no internet distractions, no sore eyes. Imagine having bedtime stories read to your heart’s content without ever hearing the dreaded phrase “…The End. Time for bed.”

And have I mentioned how light it is? The entire volume of Huck Finn takes only takes about 311 MB of memory space. 1GB of memory can give you 1.4 days worth of stories. And get this, they’re all downloadable for FREE from Librivox.

I’ve been reading audio books on ojeks (motorbike taxis), in trains, and airplanes. I’ve done it while sorting money, while standing in lines and especially when I can’t sleep. I’m hooked, man. Indeed, your regular iPod can keep you comfortably, intellectually entertained for days.

Come to think about it, the only faults I’ve found from being so addicted to audio books, is that I always have that really faraway & distracted look on me. And I suspect the hairs in my ears are growing noticeably faster. A small cost for appeasing literary cravings, really.

Just don’t say that I didn’t warn ya the next time somebody suggests braiding the hair in your ear.

Anyway, whatchu waiting for? Get off this blog and start reading the classics!

[PS: Ms.Faultfinder, I know the thing you do with audio books are called listening instead of reading. So while you call me stupid for not knowing the difference, go ahead and call me inconsistent too. Especially since I developed that Mark Twainian slur from READING Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn simultaneously.]

[PPS: I was kidding about the ear hair thing. Kinda.]

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