In 2009 I got a second generation Kindle as a gift for my birthday (I asked for it) and that got me reading a bit more, but not as much as I thought it was.
I’m an avid Podcast listener, and I kept hearing people mention Instapaper. Around the same time as MAS talked about it (Using Instapaper for Web Legibility) I acquired the app for the iPod touch. I’ve found much the same thing: so many websites have become laden with ads and sidebars and nonsense that it’s hard to simply read. The computer is losing as a place for quality reading experiences. The rise of phones and tablets and e-readers shows us this. The form factor is better–more portable.
Reading at length requires focus. Computers don’t offer that.
What’s interesting is that there’s a flipside to distraction-free reading. Distraction-free writing. I talked about that in 2007 in a post called JDarkroom and focus.
I had never thought about the symmetry of reading and writing at length requiring focus, but it’s a moderately insightful thing.
Although the insight that things with any level of complexity might require some concentration, and so, require focus, might be a tautology.
Summarized: Instapaper is worth looking at if you like to read.