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Project turns URLs into book synopses to promote reading

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Turning URL shortening on its head, URLITERATURE is a service that lengthens any web address with text from popular books.

Web URLs can be a mess of letters and numbers, which often prompts businesses to use shortening services such as Bitly to make them more presentable — or tweetable. However, a new project believes that the abridged nature of online communication is killing people’s desire to read. Turning URL shortening on its head, URLITERATURE is a service that lengthens any web address with text from popular books.

Created by Russia-based booksellers RESPUBLICA*, users simply enter the URL they want lengthening at the project’s website. They can then choose between titles ranging from classics such as The Complete Sherlock Holmes and The Count of Monte Cristo to more recent releases like Nick Hornby’s 31 Songs. The address is then turned into a synopsis of the book for people to read before they click on it. After they’ve clicked, the website is loaded with a banner at the top that offers more details about the book and a chance to buy it from RESPUBLICA*. Here is a link to this article rendered through URLITERATURE:

www.urliteratu.re/In-1960-Jack-Kerouac-was-near-breaking-point-Driven-mad-by-constant-press-attention-in-the-wake-of-the-publication-of-On-the-Road-he-needed-to-get-away-to-solitude-again-or-die-so-he-withdrew-to-a-cabin-in-Big-Sur-on-the-Californian-coast-The-resulting-novel-in-which-his-autobiographical-hero-Jack-Duluoz-wrestles-with-doubt-alcohol-dependency-and-his-urge-towards-self-destruction-is-one-of-Kerouac-s-most-personal-and-searingly-honest-works-Ending-with-the-poem-Sea-Sounds-of-the-Pacific-Ocean-at-Big-Sur-it-shows-a-man-coming-down-from-his-hedonistic-youth-and-trying-to-come-to-terms-with-fame-the-world-and-himself-/2587

The video below also offers some more information about the idea behind the project:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N28z-vKd1js

While the generated URLs aren’t exactly the most readable pieces of text, they serve as an attention grabber that could direct recipients to a book they might be interested in, which is the most effective part of the scheme’s effort to boost reading. How else can URLs be customized to help other worthy causes?

Email: store@respublica.ru

Website: www.urliteratu.re

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