It’s often hard to get motivated to read a famous work of literature, especially when there are so many other forms of entertainment competing for one’s attention.
Let’s create a situation so that a person can read a book as a “bonus” along with a primary activity that they were already doing.
(Ideally, the primary activity should be something that doesn’t require linguistic processing, since then it would compete for attention with the text of the book.)
- Jigsaw puzzles in which a book is printed on the individual pieces (Figure 1). This could work well for a novella or a Shakespeare play (which is something that is already commercially available in entire-play-on-one-poster form).
- Knitting yarn with a chapter of a book written on each ball of yarn, so you can read War and Peace while you make a scarf. As a bonus, the ink could be water soluble, so when you’re done knitting the scarf, the text washes right off!
- Origami paper with famous poetry printed on them. You could read some Robert Frost while folding an origami crane.
- A “learn to type” program in which the example sentences are famous quotations. For example: “Classic: a book which people praise and don’t read.” – [Mark Twain].
It is very surprising, in retrospect, that the 20th-century invention of “popsicle sticks with jokes written on them” did not inspire a more widespread “literature-on-everyday-products” genre.
PROS: Increases appreciation of classic literature.
CONS: May cause existential angst in children who just want to assemble a jigsaw puzzle but end up also reading The Stranger by Camus.