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Giving New Meaning to A Daily Romance Fix, a company that specializes in breaking classic literature into email-sized chunks that can be read on computers, laptops, or handheld devices in five minutes or less, announced a new deal with Harlequin “to deliver in digital serialization format 100 of Harlequin’s backlist as well as 20 frontlist titles each month on an on-going basis.” Most of the novels offered in this deal will be priced below the $5 mark.

I can already hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth from those among us who believe that reading should be an act of sustained contemplation, and obviously there are going to be some texts which will never be suitable to this format. In fact, one of the easiest—and laziest—knocks that you could make against this development would be to dismiss it as irrelevant to “real literature” because of the romance component. But new content delivery systems like this may have a valuable role to play in encouraging people to read more for leisure—and, in the long run, for most people, what moves us about the books we’ve read is more likely to have been the stories they told us than the paper on which they were printed.

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