I read. A lot.
While most people I know spend most of their time with their nose and face buried in a phone screen responding to text messages, mine are glued to my e-book reader catching up on blog posts, reading the latest New Yorker stories, or unraveling a murder mystery that’s got me stumped on whodunnit.
Most of what I read these days is non-fiction — articles found on the Web that interest me, have something new to teach me, or confirm something I knew already but someone beat me to writing about. I don’t like reading these stories on my computer; my eyes get tired from looking at a flickering screen, and I get easily distracted by a “beep,” “ping,” or flashy ad that urges me to click on it. Gone are the days when I could scroll through a story or article published on the Internet that doesn’t come with ads, banners, or offers to Amazon items I had seen a half hour earlier, failed to add to my shopping cart, and now suspiciously appears three pages later on a different website. Someone in Moscow is hard at work tracking my movements!
This is why I rely on Pocket, an online reading service that collects my reading items on a list I can access later on my e-reader, phone, computer, or tablet. Want to know what’s wrong with men? I saved it to Pocket. See a long-form story in the New Yorker about saving a religious minority from ISIS? Send it to Pocket and it patiently waits to be read. Want to read a Smithsonian article on why humans ate corpses for medicinal purposes? Yup, I have it in my Pocket! Want to learn about the Vatican’s gay mafia? Look in my Pocket. Or how about the terrible purge of gay men in Chechnya? Pocket!
Pocket takes the page or story you want to read, strips it of adds, banners, and distracting media, saves the linked page to your account, and waits for you to read and then favorite, share, archive, or delete. You can read the stories on a Kobo e-reader by linking to your Pocket account; you can also read the articles on a smartphone, tablet, or computer by downloading the corresponding app. Pocket will synch your reading feed across devices, and adding a story to your account is click easy.
I use Pocket daily to store, read, and archive articles I find interesting and want to share with friends. On my profile page, I share the ones that left an impression and want to have a conversation later with a friend who read it too. My best friend and I share articles we know we’ll enjoy reading through Pocket. There, I shared a story about why the gay rights movement did not cure gay men’s loneliness; the recent drag Renaissance on TV; a writer finding a muse named Chouky in Charlottesville, Virginia; and why The Last Jedi is really the best Star Wars film to date.
What’s in your Pocket?