My Daily Ulysses

To keep my niece entertained during long car rides, I tell her the story of Odysseus (also known as Ulysses).  If you start with the Iliad, which I do because it was Odysseus’ idea to build the Trojan Horse after all, and then move onto the Odyssey, you can pleasurably fill quite a lot of time.  So she’s 6 years old.  Can you ever be too young for Homer?

Well, there’s another Ulysses I was hoping to conquer.  This one was written by James Joyce.  I have begun subscribing to an e-mail service that provides excerpts of books.   It is from DailyLit.  I tried it on a lark and am enjoying the brief but intense dose of literature in my inbox each weekday.  That is, once I get over the dread and open the e-mail.  I loved Dubliners so why the dread of Ulysses?  It certainly has a reputation for being difficult but that is partly why the e-mails are perfect for me.  I can savor the book in small doses and read them when I have the time and focus needed.   Further, seeing them in my inbox each day encourages me to read them.

The e-mails from DailyLit are what e-mails should be — relevant, timely and meaningful to the recipient.  In this case, I selected the book from a myriad of choices and set the frequency.  My choices were daily, weekdays or Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Further, I was able to schedule the time of the e-mail or RSS feed.  Other e-mail senders can learn from the customer preferences provided by DailyLit.

Book Vending Machine © Craig Alexander
Book Vending Machine © Craig Alexander

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