Readlists: Turn Your Articles Into an eBook

If it wasn’t for my Kindle, I seriously doubt I’d read half of what I do now. Whatever about the incredible Kindle store or the high resolution e-ink display, the main selling point is having thousands of books, magazines, newspaper and journals condensed into one little device.

Listed under Experimental on my Kindle lives the world’s worst Internet browser. A suggest use is accessing websites for further reading, yet trying to read a blog on Kindle is like reading War & Peace on a Tamagotchi.

The obvious solution here is to use something like KindleFeeder to send RSS feeds to my kindle. The unobvious flaw is that regular reading of blogs is best set for a PC or tablet given the usual inclusion of video and other media. What’s more I rarely read every article a blog publishes. I prefer to read by the subject. If I have a insatiable hunger for FarCry3 reviews, I want only FarCry3 reviews.

In sweeps Readlists like a squirrel in one of those flying squirrel suits. Loads of articles, all derived from related lists, straight to my kindle, inbox, phone or PC. How does it work? Should I even bother? Let’s check it out.

Readlists is a tool which allows you to compile a bunch of URLs of articles you want to read. Once you’re happy with the list it can be dispatched to a device or read online. Effectively the app makes a cool eBook out of articles you’re interested in. You can also download them directly in multiple formats including PDF, ePub and Kindle.

Readlists profile and various articles and lists

Readlists profile and various articles and lists

This core feature is what attracted me to Readlists. But it’s important that I mention how I use it and why I like it. I do not make lists of 300 word articles about trivial topics. Those I read on my phone while willing my bus to actually arrive at my destination on time.

Readlists is for when you have some serious research to do on a big topic, with dozens of long articles involved in the process. As both a college student and freelance writer I read around 30,000 words per week excluding recreational reading. Doing this in bed curled up with my Kindle is ten times better for my eyes and offers a better reading experience.

Functionality

Chrome extension to add articles while browsing

Chrome extension to add articles while browsing

Using the app is easy. As you can see above the process involved copying and pasting in all the URLs you want into the list and saving it. After that it can by synced wirelessly to my Kindle or other device. There is also a chrome extension so you can add articles to your lists while browsing as usual.
Initial set-up is required however involving entering your Kindle’s unique email address and logging into your amazon account to add their email address ([email protected]) to your approved document sharing list. At the initial stage I was dumbfounded about the whole process – a simple tutorial video would have cleared up the few issues I ran into while trying to sync my Kindle. Once you do it you’re good to go in future.

Featured lists can be added to your own device

Featured lists can be added to your own device

Of course actually finding articles to sync to your Kindle can be a pain. The Readlists community offer up their lists (and, by default, you do too) to others. Popular lists are featured on the homepage and can be synced to your device in just a couple of clicks. I really enjoyed this feature. Avid readers love exploring new topics and enjoy an infinite pool of reading material to draw from and Readlists offer just that.

Readlists is the kind of web app you find yourself coming back to again and again. Always having a Kindle full of refreshing, up-to-date content, useful articles and research material is great.

Design

The design of the app is par for the course – but that’s not why I use Readlists anyway. I use it for top quality articles. So how do they look? Well the online reader offer large text fonts, minimal background and in general great readability.

Lists synced as an eBook with pictures

Lists synced as an eBook with pictures

The ebook on the Kindle are even better. Each article is organised into separate chapters with great formatting. Titles have a line beneath them and authors names accompany the article. Images display perfectly right where they should in the article too.

I had no issues with any of the blogs I created lists from which were mainly ran on the WordPress blogging platform. Other news sites such as the New York Times render perfectly in the ebooks too.

Conclusion

So should you even bother? Well, assuming you enjoy reading and are the owner of either a Kindle or device with a Kindle app installed, then yes. You really should.

Readlists are a different kind of breed than the humble RSS feed we all came to love when blogs blew our minds. It takes the best of books and blogs and forces them into a delightful shotgun wedding for our own pleasure.

The best part is that it’s completely free. If you love reading and own a kindle I recommend using Readlists to tackle your research and recreational reading.


Summary

Readlists is a web app from Readability. It enables users to create lists of articles and blog posts on the internet and wirelessly transfer them as ebooks to their devices such as Kindle and smartphones.

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