The sneakiest, wittiest time waster ever

As office managers and cubicle dwellers know, the Internet is a great help for procrastinating on the job (ahem: Scrabulous). But now wasting time at the office has become much less risky, thanks to Read at Work, a website that houses cleverly disguised books in a fake Windows desktop environment; the days of bookworms’ desperately clicking back to a spreadsheet when the boss approached are over.

The site is a dead-on simulation of Windows with the books organized in desktop folders. Click and you’ll see the text rendered as a Power Point presentation, with the words rolling into graphics, charts, and photo captions. You can read short stories, novels, and poetry — by canonical authors such as Tolstoy and Orwell, and contemporary writers like Charlotte Grimshaw and Fiona Kidman.

The site, designed by the company Colenso BBDO, Auckland, is an effort by the New Zealand Book Council to entice people into reading. Sold.

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