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Last Updated: Thursday November 17 2005 14:52 GMT

2b?Ntb? Shakespeare sent by text

Phone receiving text message
Some of the world's most famous works of literature have been rewritten as text messages so that students can read them quickly before exams.

The service, sent to phones, breaks long books down into a few lines to make them easier to learn.

Amongst the works to get the text treatment are Shakespeare and Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

The scheme's backed by a top English professor who thinks it might encourage young people to read more.

Making books fun

It was developed by student mobile service dot mobile. The professor who helped them is Professor Sutherland from University College London.

He also judges a top writing competition.

He's hopeful that giving classics a modern twist will get more young people reading them.

But author Oliver Kamm says he's worried it'll make kids lazy when it comes to reading.

He said: "What I fear will happen with text versions of Shakespeare is that students will be encouraged not to read the books but to settle for something else.

And people don't need excuses not to read books. They don't read enough as it is."

The texts will be available to students from January 2006.

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