Help my treadmill time fly by
May 28, 2010 3:37 PM   Subscribe

I spend most mornings before work with 45 minutes on the treadmill at my gym. To pass the time and not stare at the damn TV bank, I read. Help me find the best quality, most creative, intelligent, and engaging short-form non-fiction reading on the internet. Help me strengthen my mind as I strengthen my heart and not get captured by the boob tubes in my line of sight. [specifics inside]

I would like to hear from you about your favorite source of printer-friendly free reading material on the internet that can be consumed within 45 minutes to an hour.

Currently I read The Week, Esquire, and Time. The thing about them is that they fit well into a gym visit. They keep me from focusing on the little workout clock and the TV, but I want to up my treadmill reading game with a better class of reading.

I also have (seriously) ADD, so it has to be riveting or visualy engaging for me to get through it.
posted by cross_impact to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
I get a lot of my reading from Long Form. I particularly like that they'll find old articles that are relevant to current events. Right now, for instance, there's a 1969 Sports Illustrated article about performance-enhancing drugs.
posted by stefanie at 4:00 PM on May 28, 2010 [3 favorites]

You can't beat The New Yorker. They don't have the entire magazine online, but they'll always have a few featured articles.
posted by BlahLaLa at 4:14 PM on May 28, 2010

You might also look into interval training. It takes much less time and could be considered an excellent complement to traditional aerobic exercise, in addition to having other health and fitness benefits.
posted by clockzero at 5:12 PM on May 28, 2010

It's not free but this guy has distilled 100 books on philosophy and self help into easy-to-digest PDFs and MP3s.
posted by rocco at 5:15 PM on May 28, 2010

I got sucked in to Badass of the Week last night til about 3 AM. I'm not usually a big fan of the Cracked-style hyperbole, but it's well done and fits the subject matter, cause DAMN are some of these people fucking badass. Plus there's the bite-sized but still thoroughly informative format of the articles.

posted by cmoj at 6:00 PM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

I end up reading a bunch of articles that are posted to Give Me Something to Read. When I first saw it I just kind of bookmarked it and passed it by, but now I find that I click through and save about 85% of the articles they post. I'm usually pretty pleased with what I read.
posted by OmieWise at 6:25 PM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

I love national geographic, and it doesn't get more visually compelling.
posted by smoke at 6:27 PM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Have you considered audio books? Audible has some great titles. If you're interested, I'll be happy to recommend some.
posted by WyoWhy at 6:42 PM on May 28, 2010

I don't know if it's printer-friendly, but what about The Atlantic? Harper's subscriptions are very inexpensive (Under $20/year) and I think you get all their articles since 1850 available as pdfs.
posted by Lycaste at 7:55 PM on May 28, 2010

Personally I like though it's political articles are fairly biased (In a way I agree with, but the bias is rather obvious).

It's science journalism is also top notch if you like that sort of thing.
posted by Canageek at 8:20 PM on May 28, 2010

Other people have given you good sources, but here are my favorite short form printer-friendly non-fiction articles:

From the past couple years:
"Trial by Fire," by David Grann
"The Deadly Choices at Memorial," by Sheri Fink
"The Rubber Room," by Steven Brill
"The Things That Carried Him," by Chris Jones

From years past:
"Frank Sinatra has a Cold," by Gay Talese
"House," by Tracy Kidder
"Shipping Out," (PDF) by David Foster Wallace
"A Fleet of One," by John McPhee
posted by sallybrown at 8:41 PM on May 28, 2010 [2 favorites]

Whatever happened to the good old-fashioned newspaper? ;-)
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:15 PM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

To echo WyoWhy, I listen to / watch all sorts of interesting stuff (TED Talks, novels, short stories, essays, biography, philosophy, etc) while working out, or really, while doing pretty much anything.

I thank Librivox for most of that. Everything there is free. You can download specific pieces from the website, or simply subscribe to the podcasts. TED Talks also has free podcasts. I have filled many the empty 20 minutes with a TED Talk on my iPod. Another interesting short-form, non-fiction podcast: The Moth. Real stories told well by real people.

(I realize you asked for things to read, but things to watch / listen to seems to achieve the same purpose).
posted by Galen at 12:49 AM on May 29, 2010

Here's a second for The New Yorker. It is the only subscription I have for a magazine and I read pretty much each issue cover to cover.....while at the gym! It is incredibly engrossing, the writing is generally fabulous and covers the gamut from politics to popular culture. There is a fiction contribution in each issue - I am not a fan of most fiction but I have often been mesmerized by these short stories.
posted by bluesky43 at 9:04 AM on May 29, 2010

« Older Oh, I don't want a bad hair day!   |   How can a college student make $30K a year to pay... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.