Well it’s almost Christmas, and for the next couple weeks I’ll be taking what I’ve heard other people call a digital break so I can regroup and be back in full swing come the new year. I might have a couple posts here and there, but for the most part, I won’t be around again until January.
And so, in the spirit of taking a break, and because I’ll be using that time to read a lot, I’m writing this post about reading and reading shorts. Personally, I’m a fan. I like quick reads that I can finish in one sitting and make me feel accomplished. Plus, some stories are meant to be short.
Most of you probably know about Amazon’s Kindle Singles, but there are other places to find that sweet spot of content that’s too long for a magazine article but too short to be a traditional book.
Atavist, besides being a software company, is a publisher of long-form journalism and novellas. They offer a range of stories, which you can purchase on major retailers sites as well as their own website. If you buy a book on their website, you can read it on their web e-reader. Atavist is also available as an app, and you can subscribe either per month or per year to receive the most recent features. Many of Atavist’s stories are multimedia, with additional text, images, and video.
Byliner also produces long-form content. Some of their stories are original, but the site also curates stories based on writers you show interest in. More recently, Byliner released an iPad app that matches readers “with content based on how much time they have to read,” according to paidContent.
In case Atavist and Byliner don’t have what you’re looking for, there are a couple sites that scour the Internet to find and recommend the best short reads.
Longform is a site that recommends longform non-fiction and short fiction found online. On the site you can choose to save to read later or open up a story on Instapaper, Pocket, or Kindle. You can also subscribe to the Longform app “to features from dozens of the world’s best magazines,” according to the site.
ThinReads is a site that focuses on e-book singles. The site interviews and profiles authors of singles and writes reviews. It also has a “database of 1,000 e-book singles dating back to 2010,” according to the site.
Reading on Websites/Apps
And now that you have something to read, what’s the best way to read it? Here are a couple different ways.
Readmill is an iOS and Android e-reading app. The people behind the app are all voracious readers who wanted to create the best reading experience possible. You can highlight, take notes, sync your library, and get social (if you want) within the app. You can also send ebooks to Readmill with one click. This makes it easy to add an ebook from a WordPress blog, if say, you found a book you really want to read from an indie author’s site.
Monocle is an interesting bit of code that allows you to embed any ebook to a web page. It’s HTML5, so if it’s embedded on a site, you’ll have no problem reading on a phone or tablet.
Enjoy, and happy holidays!