May 12, 2011
To a college freshman, the poetry of John Milton's Paradise Lost can seem daunting. Thousands of lines and long sections chronicling fallen angels can turn off even the most ambitious aspiring scholar, especially in an era of constant distractions and 140-character tweets.
Rich Rice, a professor at Texas Tech University, said he has been hosting marathon readings to help various causes since he was a graduate student. He raises money by getting sponsorships and then donates the money to literacy programs.
"Students like to be part of something larger," Rice said in an e-mail. He said he has worked with other schools to organize similar events and is always looking to spread the program.