So here’s a question for you because I am always curious about how readers organize their reading and their time. We all read books but I know, if you are reading this, you also spend time on the interwebs and you probably spend time reading blogs but I also know you spend time reading other things online too. At least I am assuming you do because I know I do. I’m not talking about news, but longer stuff. Let’s call it long-from internet writing whether it is a long book review essay at the Los Angeles Review of Books (if you don’t read LARB by the way you are missing out I actually tend to like them better than NYRB because they have more variety and are less pretentious and know the world does not revolve around New York or Los Angeles) or maybe an article at Slate or The New Yorker or Bicycle Magazine or any number of the many places you like to visit on your internet rounds.
I’m going to bet that you are also like me in that you often find interesting long-form writing but gosh darn, just don’t have the time or brain power when you come upon it to read it right then and there. So you save it for later.
First question: Where/How do you save your read laters?
Since I am asking you, I will reciprocate and tell you that if something comes up in my feed reader (Feedly) I will save it for later there. I have a Mac and use the Safari browser that has a handy “read it later” feature where it will save articles in the browser but not as bookmarks. It’s hard to explain, but it is a useful feature for anything I come across through channels other than my feed reader. I have tried other methods like Delicious and Reddit but those are so out-of-sight, out-of-mind that I forget about them. Plus, no offense, but I really don’t care about the social aspects of those sites — what everyone else is reading, nor am I particularly interested in sharing what I am reading (or saving for later as the case may be).
Inevitably, the number of items I save for later pile up because I never have enough time later to catch up with them all. Just like books piling up on my reading table, I think I have more time and opportunity to read everything I want to read than I actually do.
Second question: What do you do with all your saved for later reading when you realize that later is not going to come?
Sometimes I might unsave an article or two but most of the time when I scan my lists I still want to read what I have saved so I end up hardly ever deleting anything unless I actually read it which, as I mentioned, is not as often as I expect. And then of course the saved things end up becoming a big, unwieldy mess. When that happens I am tempted to just delete it all and start fresh but then I see all kinds of things I still want to read and, well, you can guess what happens then, or doesn’t happen is more like it.
Eventually, like now, I start to feel overwhelmed by it all and I hold extensive debates with myself over what I should do. Before I allow myself to get sucked into another one of my pointless internal debates, I thought I would ask you my two questions. So lay it on me, share your wisdom. How do you manage it all? Or maybe, like me, you don’t, and that’s okay too. I’ll be happy to know that I have company.