Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Small Portions

Two things from Germany for lovers of things in small packages:

German publisher Voland & Quist has just launched an app that delivers A Story A Day, in German. You pay a monthly fee for thirty stories - with variable font size! I think it costs €3.59 for a month and I also think it would be ideal for people looking to brush up their German reading skills on their morning commute. The writers are initially people from the V&Q catalogues, so humorous stuff and Eastern Europeans: Kirsten Fuchs, Ahne, Marc-Uwe Kling, Volker Strübing, Jochen Schmidt, Julius Fischer, Edo Popovic, Olja Savicevic are the examples they give. When they've run out and the demand is there they'll explore new avenues, apparently.

If you'd prefer to read in English, there's a start-up round the corner from me called The Pigeonhole, which sells serialized books delivered to your device on a weekly basis, with an added conversation function including discussions with the author - unless it's Charles Dickens. They call this part "the coolest book club on the internet". Going by their "meet the team" page, the ideas behind the company are things like reacquainting people with the lost pleasures of reading, challenging traditional publishing models, reaching out to audiences, and "making reading and publishing more exciting". I find it exciting enough already, but there you go. This one costs 50p per, erm, stave, which I assume is a chapter. Again, this might be a useful way to brush up reading and digital conversation skills if English isn't your native language.

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