Books

New app will make you better read in just 20 minutes a day

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Hayley Spencer
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We're all guilty of starting a book and then leaving it half-read to gather dust on the bedside table - finding time to curl up and read can seem like an impossible feat after a long day at work. But a new app promises to make the classics on your must-read list a lot more digestible, and to improve your reading habits in general.

Free reading app Serial Reader was created on the grounds that we're pretty daunted by long classics which we just can't imagine finding time to complete. It's also very commuter friendly.

It works by breaking down classic works of literature like Frankenstein and Middlemarch into easy to read 20-minute chunks (or less if you're a fast reader) and delivering them to your phone daily at your time of choosing. So you could read Mary Shelley's horror in 28 days or George Eliot's most famous novel in 149 days.

Reading the classics in chunks actually makes a lot of sense as a lot of longer classic novels, especially from the 19th century, were originally serialised. So we're just reading them as they were meant to be read, albeit with a modern day twist of manageable minute-long chunks rather than a weekend's worth. Because who has time for that?

If you're feeling ambitious you can read multiple classics alongside each other to up your daily reading time. And to encourage you to read more, the app measures your reading streak, telling you your reading percentages for the day, week and overall.

Plus, there's a countdown to your next installments - a nice antidote to the on-demand culture we're used to with TV apps like Netflix. Though, of course, if you want to cheat you can always download the full version of your book and get stuck in.

You can download Serial Reader here.

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Hayley Spencer

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