Earlier in the week I shared how I longread. I flagged why it is such an important practice for our frazzled brains.
Today, I give you my list of favourite sources for finding long things to read that enrich my mind, make my heart soar, enhance my understanding of the world, while also drawing me in nice and close and focused and away from our terribly toggling world.
By way of a nice launchpad, my mate Katharine Viner, Editor-in-Chief of the the Guardian worldwide, wrote about the value of considered writing for keeping us true to truth in an incredibly rewarding longread a few months back (click on the hyperlink a few words back!), just before we met up in London during my last trip. So we chatted about the notion robustly, particularly in relation to the future of good journalism (pivotal to longreads). I quote Kath:
“My belief is that what distinguishes good journalism from poor journalism is labour: the journalism that people value the most is that for which they can tell someone has put in a lot of work – where they can feel the effort that has been expended on their behalf, over tasks big or small, important or entertaining. It is the reverse of so-called “churnalism”, the endless recycling of other people’s stories for clicks.”
I, too, believe that this is part of the importance of longreading to the human psyche. We relish demonstrations of effort expended. It reminds us we’re here for a reason. It rallies us to be more than our deadline.
A list of my longreads:
The Scientific American. I subscribe to their newsletter and buy digital copies of select issues. Many of their articles are free through their newsletter, however. This one on how we make sense of time was a recent favourite.
Mother Jones. For great political and cultural commentary. Lots of great stuff on food politics, too. I donate to their site. One should do so.
The New Yorker. I get their daily newsletter. And it brings me great joy. The first dozen or so articles are free. Then you hit a (justified) paywall.
The New York Times. I follow their Opinion and Magazine section on Facebook. David Brooks, Frank Bruni and Nick Kristof are my favourite columnists. I also subscribe to the NYT Well section for shorter reads about health…but they invariably point to longer reads elsewhere on the site. Again, 10 reads for free, then you pay. Fair, I think, given the calibre of the writing.
The Daily Beast. I head over to The Daily Beast longread section for some inspiration. Some great expansive stuff that I’d never normally find on the interwebs.
Brainpickings. I subscribe to Maria Popova’s newsletter and pretty much read everything that passes through from her. She pulls apart books – many of which are very obscure – and discusses in a manner that sees me wanting to run around wildly…and read some more (mostly of the books that she alerts me to).
Longreads.com. You pay $5 a month and the funds go to the writer. Which is a lovely model. Given a lot of the sources they draw on have a paywall anyway, it’s good value. Here’s their site.
Highline Huffington Post. I’ve just discovered this one: “It’s a new digital home for an old journalistic tradition. Think of it as a magazine that only runs cover stories—big, ambitious pieces intended to change the way you see the world or influence the course of policy.” I’m now very entrenched in their reading list. I liked this one on The Myth of Ethical Shopping: “It’s not the largest or the second-largest company we should be worried about anymore. It’s the 44th, or the 207th. Those small-batch, hemp-woven Daisy Dukes you bought in Dumbo are far more likely to be made in a sweatshop than your $7 H&M gym shorts.” And this one: Is Ivanka for real? Oh, and this one: The technology of Love.
** Please note, a lot of these longread outlets invite us to donate. I note that The Guardian now do this, too.
It seems like a model that online publishers are having to revert to – appealing to our decency and understanding of the worth of the considered art we’re getting access to. I mean, the content is not conducive to loud, scream-y ads. Is it.
Do you have any more longread sources you’d like to share with everyone here?