My E-Reader Helped Me Fall in Love With Online Long-Form
It might be a UX thing. I don’t know, it feels wonderful.
I used to have a tough time reading long-form articles on the internet. Part of my job at Medium is to encourage writers to publish long-form articles on the internet, so this was hard to admit. If you recommended an article to me, I’ll bookmark it into a folder called
to_read and then keep working. If it’s urgent, I’ll block out some calendar time to read it. While I’m reading, I may get a Slack or a text. I may pause in the middle for an errand. Over the course of hours or days, I’ll eventually finish it. It will not be entirely enjoyable.
With that said, I love reading. Specifically books. Or magazines. I love bookstores. I love libraries. I miss libraries. I love looking at bookshelves. If there’s one behind you in a Zoom call, I’m looking at it.
I recently found a series of PDF papers on creative tools and learning and design, but there’s no way I could sit on my computer and read all of them. Already I’m feeling a lot of eye strain and fatigue from so much screen time. So I got a Kindle to read them. It turns out reading PDFs on a Kindle is pretty horrible.
There’s this bookmarklet that lets you send an article from a browser to the Kindle. I sent a few articles, and I actually enjoyed reading them. So then I sent some more. I went through my
to_read bookmarks. I learned about a different kind of math to reconcile various physics models, I learned about IFS therapy, about schizophrenia and shamanism, about the classics and white supremacy, and went down this rabbit hole by Jenny Odell, which I’d been meaning to read for a couple of years (Odell wrote this wonderful essay on Medium which led to the New York Times bestseller). This entire world of reading long-form on the internet opened up for me. Overwhelmed with the joy of learning and fantastic writing and new windows to the world about so many things, one night, I just giggled before falling asleep.