Tagged: longform

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The Highlighter digest is now also a podcast!

favicon Many of you like and subscribe to The Highlighter, the weekly email digest that includes my favorite articles on race, education, and culture.

If you don’t know what The Highlighter is, you’re missing out! Please check it out and subscribe here!

But that’s not the point of today’s post. Today I’d like to introduce a new feature, The Highlighter podcast. It’s pretty exciting.

Here’s today’s episode. Take a listen! (It’s about 4 minutes long.)

It’ll be fun to figure out where the podcast goes from here. My first thoughts are to interview loyal subscribers to the digest and to talk about articles they like. But you never know. Maybe if things get big, I’ll reach out to authors (sort of like the Longform podcast, which is excellent) and chat with them.

Let me know what you think! favicon

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I guess I read a lot of non-fiction, too

favicon Some years I read between 70 and 80 books. Other years, like this one, I read much less — more like 30 to 40. There’s always some guilt when I have an “off” year. After all, there’s tons of great stuff to read, and especially now that I’m not a classroom teacher, there really isn’t a great excuse.

There’s a pattern, though, to my off years: I tend to read more nonfiction, especially online. It’s not the same, of course. No matter how much I read articles from Longform, my favorite curator of long-form articles, there’s nothing that replaces a book. But most of it is still good reading.

The other day, I received this email from Pocket, my favorite phone app of all time.

Screenshot 2013-12-15 16.20.10

You see? I get an A!

Apparently, I read nearly 3 million words this year on Pocket. How does it know? Is this number based on the articles I opened? Or is it based on the articles that I’ve saved? Or does Pocket actually scan my eyes as I read or determine whether my brain comprehends what I’ve read? It’s a mystery.

At least I’m reading, though, and many of the articles I’ve read have made their way to Iserotope Extras or been saved to my Evernote.

That’s good, but what I really want is a way to talk about these articles — in the same way that I like talking to people about books. Pocket doesn’t do this (yet), and comments on the bottom of articles are never very good. Maybe someone in 2014 will be the year that social reading takes off. favicon

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Longform + Readability: One-two punch for finding great articles

favicon I love reading nonfiction and current events. On my Kindle, I get The New York Times, The New Republic, The Economist, The Nation, Fast Company, and Wired. I also subscribe to Time and The Atlantic in print.

A lot of my reading, however, is online.

In addition to Google Reader, I rely on Longform, which I consider the best curator of excellent nonfiction articles. The editors do a wonderful job selecting only high-quality, in-depth articles.

Sometimes, I get frustrated with Longform because I can’t seem to skip any articles. They’re all good. The articles come from varied sources, which prevents me from sticking to my tried-and-true.

The downside is that there’s never enough time to read all the articles, especially in one sitting. That’s why I’m happy that Longform has teamed up with several read later services, like Instapaper and Read It Later. From Longform’s website, you can immediately save an article for later.

My favorite of these services is Readability. Like Instapaper and Read It Later, Readability lets you save articles for later reading. You click a button, and the service compiles a list of articles for you that you can read on your computer, phone, Kindle, or tablet. I also like that it’s free.

The most impressive aspect of Readability — and the feature that sets it apart from the others — is that it’s beautiful. The service converts web articles into a distraction-free reading experience. Gone are the ads and other annoying pop-ups that clutter up the screen.

I’ve even found myself using Readability with Diigo to annotate the articles I read. Readability provides the clean reading experience, while Diigo lets me highlight and take notes.

As a big-time nonfiction reader, I highly recommend Longform and Readability. Instead of worrying that I’m missing key articles, I trust that I’m getting the best the web has to offer. favicon