The other day, a friend texted smartphone snapshots from a book she was reading: whole pages, with passages she found illuminating marked in pencil. She regularly exchanges excerpts of readings like this with a group of friends.

We read the passages while waiting for a bus, the perfect little mind shift and reflection. It’s one of the best uses for SMS messaging we’ve seen, as though our friend was putting the book into our hands or reading the paragraph directly to us. 

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

…Good stuff. We texted back to find out where it was from:

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

Pretend this is a text message from us to you:

Su Tung Po poem

From Selected Poems of Su Tung-P’o

Thanks Viviane! 

If you’ve found illumination, joy, or inspiration in this post, please consider supporting Improvised Life. It only takes a minute to make a secure donation that helps pay our many costs. A little goes a long way towards helping Improvised Life continue to live ad-free in the world.

Support Improvised Life ♥

3 replies on “Sharing Excerpts of Books via Text Message

  1. Sally – a perfect day for me to read this as I look for ways to stop blaming. Thanks.

  2. Love it. And the sharing, in particular. Must say, too, though that I have a very literary friend who does something related, but different, And does it the old-fashioned way. Every month or so he photocopies two short stories and sends them to a small group of friends, “subscribers,” who may not have them or be familiar with them. (The last one contained two wonderful, but lesser-known stories, one by Frank O’Connor, the other by Robinson Jeffers.)

    I never know when these little gifts are coming, but when I unlock the mailbox and see one of his pastel-colored envelopes waiting, a little burst of delight goes through me. I put it in my purse or pocket and the contents become my subway or bus or coffee house or park bench reading,And wherever I am, opening the envelope is always a tiny bit of an adventure.

  3. Ah, even nicer to have it come as actual, real mail with the attendant excitement of opening an envelope. Still, you have captured the feeling of Viviane’s text excerpts perfectly, as digital as they are. Thank you Cara!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *