Thursday, November 15, 2012

Finding Great Nonfiction Stories on the Web

Research shows that when people read on the Internet, they usually scan a page looking for information they need instead of reading the page word for word. There are a lot of possible reasons for this type of reading.  We tend to be in such a hurry these days, there are so many websites competing for our attention, reading computer screens puts strain on our eyes, among other reasons.

Sometimes we want to find something that will keep our attention and that we want to slow down and read, but we don't have the time or interest for a full length novel or nonfiction book. Longer, in-depth magazine and newspaper articles--also known as long form journalism--fit the bill,. But you have to, you know, put down your computer or phone to read those. So try the online equivalent! Long form journalism on the web.

But there are so many reprinted newspaper and magazine websites with articles, as well as original articles on websites, it can be hard to find the best ones to read. Lucky for you there are a number of sites that sift through these articles and point you to the best ones. Most of these sites are free and so are the articles they point to.Also, all of these sites either have editors or a community of readers who help to determine the list of articles.

Getting Started with the Best

To get started, try Longform. It has a simple interface that is searchable and easy to navigate. Byliner is similar, but it offers a little bit more. In addition to single articles, Byliner offers themed collections of articles on a topic. They call these Spotlights. They also have even longer original articles that are reasonably priced. For some more scholarly material, try the Arts & Letters Daily from The Chronicle of Higher Education. The A&L Daily has been around since 1998 and it is for the more discriminating reader. Another difference with A&L Daily doesn't just focus longform journalism, but all of the information is still handpicked.

Now Check Out the Rest

Next, try the other guys. Longreads is similar to Longform. Like A&L Daily, The Browser curates more than just long form articles. It has articles, interviews, book recommendations and videos. Instapaper and Readability provide tools for your browser that allow you to create stored lists of articles to read later. They also can reformat webpages so that distracting ads and other content that might distract you from reading are removed. In addition, they also provide their own list of best articles that their readers are saving as well. Readability has a top reads section while Instapaper has The Feature site.

Mobile Reading

All of these sites have mobile apps, mobile browser versions and/or the ability to send the articles to your e-reader.Check out their sites for more information.

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