I'm booooorrrrrrred.
August 12, 2013 12:44 PM   Subscribe

It's an especially slow time at work for me right now, and will be for a few more weeks at least. Please recommend some online time-killers. Specs within.

I'm looking for informative and interesting long-read type stuff online (and am familiar with longform.org and longreads.com). History is especially interesting to me, as well as journalism and true crime. I spent a couple days last week reading Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken, which I checked out of my local library. My library doesn't have a great collection of nonfiction e-books, though, so I now look to the internet.

Can you recommend good articles, sites, online exhibitions, etc. -- stuff longer than the typical blog post -- that can help me pass the time? (Am looking for reading material mostly, not audio/visual.)
posted by mudpuppie to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
Not directly helpful at the moment, but if your profile location is correct, you should know that all California residents are eligible for a San Francisco library card, and the San Francisco library has a reasonably good selection of fiction & nonfiction ebooks. You do have to go to a branch to get a card the first time, however, but if you are ever in San Francisco it's something worth looking into.
posted by brainmouse at 12:49 PM on August 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

Texas Monthly has some phenomenal articles, including true crime. Some favorites: The Innocent Man (part one of two) and Portrait of the Artist as a Postman. (Note: I am not from Texas, I have no particular interest in Texas -- they just have some terrific reads.)
posted by pie ninja at 12:57 PM on August 12, 2013 [3 favorites]

Phantom's List (twitter, website) collates really good journalism written by women. (I know the person running it and often share links with her.)
posted by jeather at 12:58 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you are interested in philosophy or willing to learn about it, how about reading a bit of David Hume? davidhume.org has a lot of his (full) texts. Hume is an 18th century, Scottish philosopher who originally wrote in English and his style of writing is most witty and interesting to read in my opinion.
posted by iliketothinknu at 1:04 PM on August 12, 2013

I asked a question about true crime longreads awhile back. This story is particularly horrifying, but this managed to be even worse. [serious, massive trigger warnings]
posted by desjardins at 1:14 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

I've been enjoying A Corner of Tenth-Century Europe, which gets pretty in-depth and points to a lot of sources.
posted by brennen at 1:24 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

A couple I read might work:
Smithsonian Magazine has a history and archeology section.
Outside Magazine has some great longform aritcles called Outside Classics.
posted by Snazzy67 at 1:33 PM on August 12, 2013

Pleasure reading would not be perceived very positively at my workplace. Does your employer offer professional development options like Books 24x7 or computer based learning? Or I'm sure you can find a lot of online and library resources for either your profession or things tangentially associated with your profession. I am in software development, and I found a lot of resources for Agile and Lean processes and Project Management.
posted by Billiken at 1:53 PM on August 12, 2013

Are you aware of the trutv crime library? Because if not, that should take care of your extra internet time for the next year or so.

EDIT: what desjardins said.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 3:51 PM on August 12, 2013

Also, the biggest internet time-suck holes I've ever fallen down involve reading the archives of personal blogs, starting from the first post and working your way forward to the present. It can be like reading a 700 page epistolary novel - just as fascinating, page-turning, and emotionally draining. I feel a little odd linking to people's personal blogs for "entertainment" purposes, but when I was researching the Foreign Service, I read a lot of FS blogs, including this one, which is very well-written and has a huge blogroll, so if you're at all curious about what it'd be like to drop everything and move to any of the countries on that list, you're set. Like lots of mefites, I also read the entire backlog of fosterhood posts, and at points, I was in tears. That probably moved me more than any book I read this year; she really has an incredible story.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 4:02 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Zinio offers a selection of articles free to read that has a pretty wide range (right now, I can see stuff from the New Republic, Hollywood Reporter, Bloomberg Businessweek, Art+Auction, Elle, & Smithsonian Magazine). And they now have an online reading option which does not require a mobile app. The link goes directly to the articles page.
posted by timepiece at 1:47 PM on August 22, 2013

I know I'm really late in answering this, but I wanted to mention a few sites that have lots of great links/articles on them in case you don't already know about them:

The Browser

Bored Panda

Arts & Letters Daily

You Are Not So Smart

Three Quarks Daily

The Morning News


Pocket Hits (a Twitter account that tweets the most-saved articles in Pocket)

Brain Pickings

Farnam Street

Also nthing true crime articles from Texas Monthly, especially anything written by Skip Hollandsworth!
posted by triggerfinger at 6:38 AM on September 20, 2013

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