Wednesday, July 2, 2008 & Two Video Sites is a website which originates from the idea than many people today face greater demands in their time & quite often the most regular reading people do is on a computer screen.'s creators, thought, "A-ha! Why not allow people to sign-up for a service to receive small portions of books to their email addresses & have them incorporate the reading of books into the same type routine as checking their email."

The site allows a user to choose a book -- there are over 750 books currently available -- or books to receive on a regular basis (each user can set up a personalized installment schedule) to an email account. The site claims most installments can be read by an average reader in about 2 to 3 minutes, with 5 minutes being the maximum.

Most of the books offered by are free, having entered into public domain or simply offered for free by the copyright holder. There also are a number of books available for a small fee, which is usually under $5. These title range from books such as The Prince & the Pauper by Mark Twain for free & Fieldwork by Mischa Berlinski for $6.75. admittedly is dominated by romance novels among its newer titles. So, the site may be exactly what you're looking for or exactly not what you're into. I think that the newness of this idea has made it relatively limited in its initial scope, but, I believe that this idea will catch on & that the consumer will ultimately help shape it into a greater, more varied version of what it currently is.

I do think, though, the site is quite successful in that it presents a few hundred or so of the classics. The site actually seems perfectly suited for book discussion groups, allowing all participants to get the same installments emailed to them at the same pace-- and all without having to find at the library or at a bookstore enough copies for everyone in the discussion group.

For TV & movies junkies, just about the best site around is This site, launched just a few months ago, is a more sophisticated version of what is. Whereas has hundreds of thousands amatuer videos (which run the spectrum to the truly inspired & genius to the utterly depressing & unnecessary), has hundreds of professional quality clips, episodes, & even entire movies available. And, it's all for FREE.

Better, the video available for free is top-quality stuff. A sampling of the movies available are: Master and Commander (starring Russell Crowe), Sideways (starring Paul Giamatti), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (starring the never-better Jim Carrey), & the cult favorite, The Big Lebowski (starring Jeff Bridges).

The best part about, though, is the amount & diversity of older TV shows available. Got a hankering to see every episode of the first two seasons of The A-Team?'s got it. Want to see the entire series of the critically-acclaimed, but cancelled-anyway Arrested Development? has that too. If you are a Steve Carrell or Stephen Colbert fan, you can check each out on The Office or The Colbert Report on, or, for their earlier work, take a look at them on The Dana Carvey Show, which aired a total of seven episodes back in 1996.

The only drawback to Ads will pop-up on the screen & you have to "x" them to make them go away. This was particularly annoying recently when I was watching a report on George Carlin's death & had a Chili's ad appear at the bottom of the screen.

Otherwise, has quite a bit to offer & I think you'll find something worthwhile if you give it a try.

Another high-quality video website is The site offers hundreds of videos on a wide array of categories such as environmentalism, animal activism, human rights, health issues & American history.

The titles on this site range from the high-profile movies of Michael Moore & the 2004 Academy Award winning The Fog of War by Errol Morris to the much lower profile, but still expertly done, movies such as The Yes Men & The Invisible Children. The site features many videos produced by & previously aired on PBS, HBO & CBC.

So, if you're more a 60 Minutes type than a sitcom watcher, I'd recommend over With either one, though, you've have plenty of variety & quality to choose from.

Patrick Layne

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Bangor Public Library

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