Shelf Awareness 12 March 2014 announced the first crowing of Rooster:

Rooster App: E-Reading Novels in Serial Form

The Rooster app launched this week, with “the backing of some of the biggest names in the tech industry,” the Washington Post reported, asking “what if your iPhone could recreate the excitement–and convenience–of reading a novel in serial form?”

Each month, Rooster will send two novels–a classic tale and a contemporary story–to a customer’s iPhone “in manageable installments, according to a schedule you set yourself,” the Post wrote. Debut titles are Herman Melville’s Billy Budd and a literary thriller, I Was Here, written specifically for the format by Rachel Kadish.

Media tech company Plympton owns Rooster as well as DailyLit. The Post noted that “as quixotic as Rooster sounds, some Web-savvy people have put their money behind it, including Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit; Joshua Schachter, founder of Delicious; Adam Goldstein, CEO of Hipmunk; Andrew McCollum, co-founder of Facebook; Charlie Cheever, co-founder of Quora; and James Hong, co-founder of HOTorNOT. Do these gazillionaires know something about the marketability of classic novels that the rest of us don’t?”

Wired Magazine also had a piece on the service too, headed “Books become magazines”. I don’t think that’s really it: they become like a magazine only in that they are presented to you in shorter bits. A broken up book doesn’t make a magazine.

All these suggestions that you boost your reading by biting off a regular, small chunk every day, don’t really appeal to me. What if you get to an exiting bit and you’ve just passed your 10% a day allocation limit, or worse, Rooster hasn’t sent the next part to you yet? Their website says “It’s an immersive reading experience that works with your schedule”. I’m not so sure they have that right — doesn’t it work with their schedule? Still at $5 a month, maybe it’s worth a whirl. Their monthly pairings do look quite interesting. This month’s books would be Elena Ferrante’s Troubling Love and Kate Chopin’s The Awakening. You can try it with a free two-week trial.

DailyLit referred to in the Shelf Awareness piece is another easy reading site: they’ll send you 15 minutes of reading a day from a catalog of new and classic works. Sounds like that guy at High Existence should get in touch with one of these services.

 

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