It’s been twelve days since New Zealand locked down, and I’ve been stuck inside. However, as a total introvert and homebody, I’m not super fazed; I was made for this. Time. To. Shine.
I don’t even have to fake a reason for canceling plans. All plans are canceled! Wahoo!
I’m definitely not hating this stay at home lifestyle. Even though I’ve lost the vast majority of my work and am basically unemployed for the foreseeable future, I feel really fortunate. My circumstances are going to be ok, and I’m so grateful to live in New Zealand, a place that looks after its people.
I’m using this time to do a lot more reading than I usually would, both books and online. Devouring content like I’m out of a job or something, I’ve got nothing but time.
I’m really enjoying long-form stories and thoughtful reporting, something in the past I would just leave open in a tab and never get around to reading.
Lemme see your hands if you’re the kind of person with about 100 tabs open at a time. And if you’re the other kind? Don’t tell me how to live my life.
While I’ve always been a big reader, this summer (New Zealand summer) has allowed me to really do a deep dive into digging through stories and books I’ve had my eye on for a long time. Up until 2020, I’ve been immensely busy, though I was always still reading.
Now that I cut my travel back significantly, pre-pandemic, I’ve found even more time to read. Usually, I have four to six books open at a time: a novel on my Kindle I read before bed, and then several nonfiction tomes I’m slowly working through.
And finally, all of the reading is paying off. I feel for the first time in a long time that my creative brain is activated again. I feel inspired. I’ve never been happier.
With the golden age of memes and tik-tok upon us, I still can’t let go of my love for beautiful writing, long stories, and insightful, thought-provoking journalism. You know, the kind of journalism that you can’t churn out in a day.
If the state of my work is any indication, we might be looking at the final nail in the coffin of traditional media. And while I’m all for new and fresh ways of consuming content online, I still love the in-depth long-form journalism I was raised on.
Fingers crossed it just evolves and doesn’t disappear entirely.
While some of these grand old bastions of traditional media are now hiding behind paywalls, I don’t mind shelling out a couple of dollars to keep them alive as long as I’m in the position to. As a writer, I understand the value of the work, and I’m always happy to contribute.
If you’re working from home, reading one or two of these stories will give you a nice breather and break in between assignments.
Here are some of my fave subscriptions and newsletters below, with some features I’m enjoying at the moment. We can all do with reading more and giving our brain a workout with words.
What are you reading online these days that you’re enjoying? Are any particular sites worth subscribing to? What’s the best online reading you’ve come across recently? Spill.
The New Yorker
One of my all-time favorite magazines, the New Yorker, never ceases to deliver epic reporting, unparalleled long-form journalism, and insightful criticisms on topics always on my mind. Also the cartoons. They give me life!
What I’m reading on the New Yorker right now:
- Can reading make you happier? by Ceridwen Dovey
- How loneliness from coronavirus isolation takes its toll by Robin Wright
- How people learn to become resilient by Maria Konnikova
Described as the premier destination for women with stylish minds, the Cut is the female-led section of the New York magazine and Vox Media. Filled with dynamic conversations relative to stuff I want to read, like power and feminism, I have been a big fan for a long time. I got super into it with their the Cut on Tuesdays podcast.
What I’m reading on the Cut right now:
- Chronic Uncertainty Lessons for a global pandemic, from a permanently sick person by Esmé Weijun Wang
- Why are my dreams so vivid right now? by Alice Robb
- I Was Caroline Calloway by Natalie Beach –> CC is a personal friend, and the drama around this is a serious deep dive in internet culture. She just released the first of her responses to it here ($10 to read and she’s already donated all of the $30K so far to charity)
I first heard about Longreads years ago from my friend Jodi of Legal Nomads, who often shares incredible internet round-ups. Longreads is the best of the internet’s long-form journalism and creative writing, sharing in-depth investigative reporting, interviews and profiles, podcasts, essays, and criticism.
What I’m reading on Longreads right now:
- Let me show you the world by Iman Sultan
- A long, lonely time by Hannah Seidlitz
- Seeding a dark world with new life by Sara B. Franklin
Condé Nast Traveler
The luxury and lifestyle travel brand by Condé Nast, CN Traveler, is one of my favorite travel publications and has been for a long time.
What I’m reading on Condé Nast Traveler right now:
- What it means to stay home when you travel for a living by Meredith Carey
- Airlines are getting bailout money – but there are a lot of strings attached by Jessica Puckett
- How a writing retreat at sea forced me to deal with my grief by Corina Quinn
- How my mother’s travels shaped my view of the world by Priya Krishna
- Photographer Lynsey Addario on the Importance of Telling Women’s Stories by Lale Arikoglu
The New York Times
What can I say? My go-to news site has always been the New York Times. Every morning I wake up and start my day listening to their podcast, the Daily. During the day, I traipse through their site, getting lost amongst the features. An institution for a reason, I’ve never regretting paying their subscription fees, which run pretty cheap. They’re the best online reading.
What I’m reading on the New York Times right now:
- The Jungle Prince of Delhi by Ellen Barry
- Stop trying to be productive by Taylor Lorenz
- They Were the Last Couple in Paradise. Now Their Resort Life Continues by David Zweig
- 8 Ways to Be Kinder to Yourself in 2020 by Tim Herrera
I can’t believe I’m the kind of person who not only reads the Economist but subscribes and digs in regularly to its features. Let me just adjust my cravat and monocle while I attempt to explain myself. Austere and straight to the damn point, I love giving my brain a bit of a break from other styles of journalism with some cold hard facts.
What I’m reading on the Economist right now:
- Why the Swedes are not yet locked down
- Jellyfish, not the meek, might inherit the Earth by Peter Williams
- Will the coronavirus lockdown lead to a baby boom?
As a D.C. native, the Smithsonian has been my favorite institution since I was a kid, and their magazine has been bringing my joy for years. With curious and different features, I can (and do) spend hours digging through their fascinating articles online.
What I’m reading on the Smithsonian right now:
- The legend of Limberlost by Kathryn Aalto
- Cats are surprisingly bad at killing rats by Meilan Solly
- An iceberg flipped over, and its underside is breathtaking by Melissa Wiley
- Ten surprising facts about everyday household objects by Amy Azzarito
Away Luggage has launched its travel publication, Here Magazine, and I am here for it. Sharing compelling, thoughtful stories with pretty cool web design, I enjoy their newsletters and stories, and they are one the best online reading in my inbox for a while.
What I’m reading on Here right now:
- 12 inspired online classes to take at home by Annie Werner
- Climate tourism: why I went to Northern Norway in the dead of winter by Whooli Chen
- 6 mental health lessons we’ve learned from traveling by Tiana Attride
Share some of your best online reading these days in the comments!