I just finished reading Merlin Mann’s excellent post Instapaper 4: Deciding to Read and got an itch to finally write up a post about my love of Instapaper. Then I poked around in my blog archives and realized that eighteen months ago I already did that. There’s a lot of stuff I didn’t mention in that post, though, so there’ll be some more gushing here and now. Prepare yourselves.
First, for the ungeeks who haven’t heard about Instapaper, it’s a service that lets me save online text to read later on my phone. That’s the gist of it. I run into something long online and want to read it but don’t have time at the moment, so I save it to Instapaper and read it that evening or the next day or whenever it’s convenient. It’s a brilliant idea, and it’s executed very, very nicely. The iPhone app is well worth the five bucks it costs. (Oh, and you can still use Instapaper even if you don’t have a smartphone — you can read articles on the Instapaper website.)
So, how do I get stuff into Instapaper? I use the Read Later bookmarklet the most, but I often send things to Instapaper from Google Reader (the “Send To” option) and Reeder and Tweetbot on my phone, and lately I’m emailing stuff in as well (missionary emails, David Farland’s Daily Kicks, etc.).
While I do have an iPad, I hardly ever use it, so I do all my Instapaper reading on my iPhone. I don’t have set times of any kind for reading in Instapaper, but since I usually don’t have games on my phone (except for occasional binges, followed by purges the next day ~cough~), I end up turning to Instapaper or iBooks. We’ll see how much I use Instapaper on the Kindle Touch when it arrives.
As for what I’m reading in Instapaper, it’s primarily fueled by blogs I read, links people post on Twitter, and online publications. Here’s a sampling (which is mostly LDS stuff):
Most Dawning of a Brighter Day and A Motley Vision posts end up in my Instapaper queue. Like I mentioned before, the Maxwell Institute has a lot of great books online, along with other papers and transcripts. And most of the older BYU Religious Studies Center books are online (looks like everything published before 2010), as are a bunch of articles. I’ve enjoyed reading through the FAIR conference transcripts. And I’ve saved all of the talks from this past general conference to Instapaper.
I’ve also been reading through all the past Writing Excuses transcripts, and Brandon Sanderson’s novel annotations are sweet, too. (Speaking of which, I never thought my wife would read epic fantasy, but she’s over halfway through Mistborn and seems to be enjoying it.)
So, that’s me and Instapaper. If you like reading, get it. It’s bliss.