“You can tell by their finger movements,”
August 31, 2016 11:01 AM   Subscribe

Subway Reads: Free E-Books, Timed for Your Commute [The New York Times] “On Sunday, Subway Reads started delivering novellas, short stories or excerpts from full-length books to passengers’ cellphones or tablets. The idea is for riders to download a short story or a chapter and read it on the train. Subway Reads will even let riders choose what to read based on how long they will be on the subway — a 10-page selection for a 10-minute ride, a 20-page selection for a 20-minute excursion, a 30-page selection for a 30-minute trip. Delays not included.”
posted by Fizz (6 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I wonder how many of them are excerpts. I didn't think that most publishers were doing novellas (although there are some exceptions)

I just (like last week) got a kindle and one of the things I'm super excited about is novellas. They don't make a ton of economic sense to me as physical books, but for $3-$4 (Or free and instantaneous from the library)? Sure, why not!
posted by quaking fajita at 11:11 AM on August 31, 2016

Just poking around when this showed up the other day, it seemed like a lot of excerpts—they've got a 20 minute excerpt each from a couple of Robert Caro's Lyndon Johnson volumes, for example, which is proportionately nothing. It's a lot like downloading a kindle excerpt, which is fine, but definitely just feels like more of a marketing ploy for the publisher than a wondrous free book deposit. Which I guess is pretty clear in the article, but is disappointing when you just come across it on the subway and the tiny excerpts are just listed under Fiction and Nonfiction by images of book covers.

Also, if I were putting up F. Scott Fitzgerald short stories I'd for sure go with "May Day" instead of the casually racist and meandering "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz."
posted by felix grundy at 1:27 PM on August 31, 2016 [1 favorite]

If we are listing favorites of F. Scott Fitz, I'd like the Pat Hoby stories.
posted by dfm500 at 2:27 PM on August 31, 2016

The LoC on a chip for everybody now...No?
Because the written word is a product of labor for which due compensation must be paid, you say?

Okay, what fraction of the LoC's works are free of copyright as it's stringently (and greedily) applied and aren't distributed because there's no viable business plan? Microsoft was awarded the contracts to transfer this public resource.
Gates-- I bought a Da Vinci Codex for my living room. I believe in charity!
It belongs in a museum.
And what about copyright reform-- How might what knowledge sits on public shelves (including media that made an enterprising and privileged Moby so rich) be addressed in terms of cultural value-- because cultural value and commerce are congruent to republics?
Every once in a while, I suppose there's an exception. Let us blast out and carve another Rushmore.

I'm trying to sound angry because I am...Oh, people should read more and they should read a canon with which I'm familiar. Any dime of public money spent on this is a lie and subsidy of a greater rip off. I'm watching the Internet become a wholly persuasive medium, its informational values stripped away...for all the flash of, well, Flash, and image and motion, a great quantity of information is delivered via TEXT and the powers that be will be charging us for articles and determiners the way things are going.

It's all appliances now...thinking need not apply.
posted by lazycomputerkids at 4:45 PM on August 31, 2016

Finally a reason to hope your train does not go express.
posted by AlexiaSky at 5:51 PM on August 31, 2016

If I'm reading the article right, this is only available for eight weeks. So what we've got here is a pop-up e-store.
posted by storybored at 8:17 PM on August 31, 2016

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