Monday, May 12, 2008

Reading Books Online

If you are as into reading as I am, then you are always looking for extra times to sneak in a book. Say, for example, you have a boring job that requires little intelligence, and your co-worker wears fake vampire fangs to work. It would be a little obvious to kick off your shoes and curl up in your broken office chair with a book, but what if you could make reading look like work? Then read on, my friends.

There are tons of books online, mainly classics, the reading of which will make you feel vastly superior to your friends and co-workers (because you are vastly superior.) Start with Project Gutenberg, probably the biggest of the eBook sites. If you can't find it here, The Online Books Page links to virtually every book online.

The biggest complaint most people have with reading books online is that it hurts their eyes. Try this trick: copy and paste the entire book into Word. Then, in Word, go to the "Preferences" option (I'm not sure where this is on PCs... on a Mac its under the "Word" menu.) Under the "General" tab, click "Blue background, white text." Trust me, the light words on a dark background are much easier on the eyes.

Don't have time for unlimited slacking during the day? DailyLit will e-mail about 2 pages of the book of your choice to you every day. This is particularly good for difficult books, that you want to claim to have read, but don't actually want to read. Although keep in mind that if War and Peace is one of those books, it will take you several years to read it on your email.

If you are lucky enough to have audio on your computer, and can get away with wearing headphones at work (or if you have your own office... although in that case, you really shouldn't be wasting your time doing this. Get back to work!) try LibriVox. These are free audio books (again, mostly classics) recorded by volunteers. This can be hit or miss, in that the volunteers' audio equipment and reading voices can greatly vary. But it's still better than listening to your co-workers discuss their latest questionable weight-loss strategies.

Happy slacking! I mean, um, working.
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