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Saturday, April 17, 2010

An Analog Feedreader Based on Books

Do you have a pile of books that you've been meaning to finish for years? Or do you use a feedreader like Google Reader but keep running out of feed items (emptyfeedreaderitis)? If so, then the analog feedreader is for you.

What you'll need:
  1. A bunch of books (no more than 5)
  2. 5 index cards
  3. Two book-ends
First, on each index card, draw a line from the center of the card to one of the corners:

Single-line-resolution bookmark

This is a bookmark with single-line resolution – i.e., it allows you to precisely mark the line at which you left off your reading:

Single-line-resolution bookmark in situ

Next, choose up to 5 books to put in your feedreader. Here's what I chose:

Items in the analog feedreader

Enclose the books with the two book-ends. Place the feedreader in a conspicuous location, perhaps beside your computer:

Analog feedreader

Now, whenever you have a free moment, or need a break, or run out of items on your regular feedreader, read a paragraph or a page from the books in your analog feedreader. Move the bookmarks to indicate the line at which you left off.

There are a lot of great things about analog feedreaders:
  1. You will be making progress on books that you have been putting off.
  2. You will be peppering your week with small doses of new ideas.
  3. Unlike traditional feedreaders, this feedreader never runs out of items. I won't get into it here, but this is because it uses a static corpus rather than a dynamic corpus. Thus, it does not suffer from the emptyfeedreaderitis mentioned at the beginning.
What will you put in your analog feedreader?


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