The book giant is the latest publisher to embrace quick reads, that are only published as E-books in the hopes they can reach out to a time and cash-starved market.

This article titled “Penguin joins push for short ebooks” was written by Alison Flood, for guardian.co.uk on Monday 12th December 2011 16.27 UTC

Angry Birds on the way to work, or half an hour with Helen Dunmore, Julian Barnes or Emma Donoghue? A slew of short, digital-only reads is hitting the market this Christmas as publishers look to tempt the time-poor back to books.

The Penguin Shorts progamme, a collection of short digital reads, has just launched with nine titles, ranging from a creepy short story by Dunmore to an essay on multiculturalism from Elif Shafak, accounts of the battles of Alamein and Isandlwana, recipes for the perfect Christmas day from Felicity Cloake and a novella by Anita Brookner. Toby Young has written an essay on How To Set Up a Free School, John Gapper an analysis of rogue trading, Colm Tóibín a memoir of growing up in Ireland. Priced at £1.99 – “approximately the same price as a cup of coffee,” says Penguin – the ebooks are available across all digital formats, each emblazoned with the iconic tri-band design with which Allen Lane launched Penguin’s paperbacks back in 1935.

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