Too busy to read the classics?

This app sends out daily instalments of Bram Stoker’s Dracula for free to your inbox.

There was a time when I’d devour even the most long-winded of classics in an afternoon. Those were the days of no work, no responsibilities and (just as importantly) no internet. In my teenage years there was precious little way to keep your imagination entertained. I wasn’t the outdoorsy type, chasing balls or playing hopscotch on Valletta street corners. And I hated dolls.  So reading it was.

I took fast to reading because it allowed me to escape the mundanity of life for a schoolgirl in those days. Breakfast, schoolbus, lessons, schoolbus, homework, piano lessons, dinner, 8PM cartoons on Italia Uno, sleep. Rinse and repeat. Reading opened up a whole new world.

I was a weekly visitor to the library at Belt-is-Sebħ, upgrading to the maximum membership card that allowed me to take out four books at a time, rather than three. I felt special (I wasn’t). I was also granted access to the holy of holies adult section upstairs before I turned 16, simply because I was such a pest. I would often be done with my four books before the next Saturday scheduled visit.

You get the gist. I was (am) a nerd, and then some. My speed reading record must have been a Dostoevsky, probably The Brothers Karamazov, that I finished in about three days. Yup, that’s what zero responsibilities and no internet does to you.

Life is somewhat different today. I’m lucky if I have the energy to finish off three chapters right before I go to sleep. The thought of trawling through all those complicated Russian names so typical of Dostoevsky gives me a panic attack. And, much as I love all lore and literature surrounding the original Dracula, there is no way I’d manage to read that tome again in anything less than a year.

Which makes me somewhat sad. Which is why Dracula Daily was one of the best discoveries of the year (thank you, Andrew – it’s great when your friends know exactly the thing to make it rain sunshine). Dracula Daily is basically a newsletter you can subscribe to for free, and you’ll receive coffee-break sized excerpts of the novel every day. So that instead of a serving of doom scrolling, I enjoy my cappuccino with one of the greatest classics.

I was sceptical at first, but it works. The newsletter keeps to the same time frames as the book, so the first email was sent out on May 3, but even if you subscribe now you can catch up on the previous newsletters. Reading it doesn’t take longer than 15 minutes and it makes a nice change from senseless phone surfing whenever I need a break.

That’s the 2PM coffee slot taken care of. You can find out more about it here.

Related Posts