Reading long form content

Orde Saunders' avatarPublished: by Orde Saunders

As the technology of media delivery has changed so have my consumption habits. Often this is a natural evolution over time but sometimes I need to make planned changes - as with long form reading.

With e-readers I'm reading more books and comics - in fact I now significantly favour reading these in digital form - but what I have struggled with is the magazine or newspaper format. Via social media and publishers' websites, finding articles to read wasn't the problem, it was reading them that wasn't working so I needed to find a better answer for this part.

With books and comics I know that longer reading isn't an issue for me in itself so I needed to look elsewhere. An important stepping stone here was that with NewsBlur I have something that works very well for RSS feeds. The insight this gave me was that I needed to divorce the discovery from the reading, these require different mental states so trying to context switch between the kind of short-term shallow content assessment during discovery and the long-term deep content assessment during reading meant I wasn't getting the most out of either - with reading suffering significantly more.

Framing the problem statement in this way presented one obvious solution: a read-it-later service. I had tried this a couple of times in the past and hadn't got on well with them but things have moved on in the intervening years. It didn't take more than a few days of using Pocket before I started settling into this new workflow of adding things that look interesting when I find them and then, when I'm in a position to apply more focus, going back and reading them.

It's now been several months since I started doing this and, whilst I've evolved things slightly, I'm using it more and and I'm reading more long form content - achievement unlocked.


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