Posts Tagged

reading

When my mother gifted me a copy of Haruki Murakami’s IQ84 a few weeks ago, I felt weird holding reading material in my hands. I suddenly realized that most of the reading I did through 2012 was on screens, and consisted mainly of blog posts and articles online. While I’m not happy that my balance of reading literature and non-fiction is totally out of whack, I now understand that reading online is undeniably a big part of my life.

That said, it’s great to have tools to keep track of what you read on the web — I subscribe to RSS feeds aplenty using Google Reader, save stuff for later with Pocket, and have set up a recipe with IFTTT to push links from my favorited tweets to Pocket as well. But wouldn’t it be nice to have a community of fellow fans of longform content, to share new things to read with? Enter Readingly.

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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. (more…)

The Internet has made it possible for anyone to become a writer with the click of a button. Naturally, the number of quality articles have increased, which are more easily discovered by curators such as LongForm, Kottke, TheBrowser, and more. Invariably, it means that you won’t have enough time to read everything that catches your fancy. So here’s an idea: why not listen to it on your commute?

A new web app called SoundGecko makes the process super-simple by converting any article you want into an MP3 file, using text-to-speech technology. The audio files are sent to your email inbox and can be synced with your Google Drive or Dropbox. There’s also the option of listening to your files in the form of a podcast from any device. Let’s get started: (more…)

You’ve heard people debate for years the merits of Macs versus Windows PCs, with the occasional Linux user letting you know why they’d use neither. Nowadays, it’s much more common to hear people debating the merits of iOS versus Android, with the faint chance of hearing someone stick up for Windows Phone or Blackberry. Most apps don’t attract anywhere near this level of loyalty.

One category of apps does seem to attract a rather loyal following, though: reading apps. Popularized by smartphones and tablets, apps that let you save articles to read later, anytime, have become increasingly popular. Instapaper and Read it Later (which was just rebranded as Pocket) have lead the category for years, with Readability, Evernote’s Clearly, and even Safari’s Reading List mode joining the fray.

I’m personally an Instapaper fan, and use its app all the time to catch up on my online reading. It’s especially great on an iPad, but even from the browser, it’s a great way to read anytime. What’s your favorite way to save articles to read later? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

For the longest time, it has seemed that online writing was doomed to being confined to just short articles. Readers in browsers get bored, and there’s always something in another tab calling for our attention. Wait: what was that?

Then, overnight it seems, longform writing has come in vogue online. Magazines and print journals started putting more of their full-length classic writing online, and startup blogs like The Verge have begun writing incredibly extensive profiles and opinion pieces on their sites. Then, apps like Instapaper and Readability have made it easy to read long articles in your browser or on your mobile device, and the growth of smartphones and tablets means it’s easy to read anytime, anywhere. Sites like The Feature, Longform, and Longreads made it easier to find long articles online.

So where do you stand? Do you like longform articles, and do you keep a full Instapaper queue of great long writings to read? Or would you rather keep longform to magazines and books, and have just shorter articles online? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the poll and comments.

Thanks to our writer Jacob Penderworth for this week’s poll idea!

I’ve started noticing an odd trend: DRM used to bug me to death, but it hasn’t seemed nearly as frustrating lately. I’ve never purchased music with DRM, choosing instead to rip CDs (that I’d legally bought) until iTunes quit DRM-locking their songs. But then it has increasingly become apparant that the biggest frustration with music, or any other media, is keeping up with your purchased files so you don’t lose them. iTunes iCloud now lets you re-download songs and movies, just like the Kindle store has done all along, and I currently feel much safer buying media in each of them since I know I can redownload them anytime.

Several weeks ago, I set out to find a way to manage my DRM-free eBooks in the cloud. Kindle has spoiled me with high-quality native and web apps, and being able to always redownload books from anywhere with an internet connection is very liberating. So much so, I’ve purchased Kindle eBooks over DRM-free books just because Kindle makes them easier to manage. There had to be a better way.

This morning, I finally found what I was looking for, thanks to a post on Minimal Mac about Booki.sh. It was exactly what I’d been looking for. Booki.sh is a new online eBook library that makes it as easy to keep up with your ePub eBooks as using the Kindle Web App. Let’s take a look and see if Booki.sh is nice enough to keep you from downloading an eBook app the next time you want to read a DRM-free eBook.

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Sometimes it seems that writing is more important today than it’s ever been in history. From Facebook status updates to txt messages, we’re all writing and reading almost more than we’re talking and listening. And while the internet has hastened print media’s troubles, many of us still read tons of text online weekly.

Whether you’re reading news articles, a great longform story, or a review of a new app here at the AppStorm network, sometimes the internet just isn’t the best place for thoughtful reading. From small font sizes to cluttered layouts, the web often takes the joy out of reading. Here’s some of the best ways to make your online reading experience better no matter where you’re reading.

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Reading is an enjoyable experience irrespective of whether you read a book or an article online. It’s the quality of content that counts and not the mode of consumption. You can always read an article from a magazine at a later time, but it’s hard to do so online. Sure, you can use the bookmarking apps to store the links to read later, but isn’t the most elegant solution. That’s what Instapaper and Read It Later are for.

Instapaper recently released a massive and impressive update for iOS devices, while Read It Later has also recently announced a major revamp. Read It Later is an amazing app across all platforms, but when compared to Instapaper, the buzz it gets is far less. It isn’t like one app is less feature rich than the other. Both of them are used by hundreds of thousands, but Instapaper has an influential and vocal fan base.

After the break, let us take a sneak peek at the first batch of changes about to come to the Read It Later web app.

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I know that the summer, a time in particular where people take time to read, is just about done, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop reading! Heck, when Hurricane Irene hit my neck of the woods and power was out, just about all I could do was read. Plus, winter is right around the corner, and what better thing to do to pass the time than read (when you’re not shoveling snow)? With all of that in mind, I’ve put together a list of 12+ websites and eBook stores to help you find whatever book it is you’re looking to read.

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We live in a very interesting world now, with the advent of browser and cloud based applications. We can talk to people anywhere in the world and share just about anything we want: where we are, what we’re buying, what movies we watch, what books we’re reading, etc. I’ve been looking for a good way to share books for a while (and even started developing my own WordPress plugin for it), and think I found a pretty nice solution in Readernaut.
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