I know the feeling well:
You are sitting in your bed or on your couch (which is also probably your bed). You have watched hours and hours of television, and you’re not even binging on a TV show; it has just been reruns of The Price is Right, Say Yes to the Dress, and Top Gear. You feel sluggish, like a cow, even though you know sitting in front of a TV doesn’t make you fat. However, the three bowls of cereal you had this morning might. You expect your parents or someone to yell at you and say, “Get up! Carpe Diem! Seize the Day!” But no one does. So you decide to get a little educated. You’re going to read, son. But you don’t want to get up. You have your laptop, so you search the web, end up on reddit, and say bye-bye the next twelve hours. And all you’ve done is change pj pants.
Like I said, I know this feeling well.
Waste away no more! Here is my definitive lazy-Sunday guide to high-quality reading you can only do on the internet*.
Do I Not Entertain You?
- Read the New Yorker (and every story they’ve published since 2007). This is an archive I could really get lost in. I would suggest starting off with some of your favorite authors (Alice Munro, Malcolm Gladwell, Philip Roth) and some of their best stories. One of my favorite is “A Tiny Feast” by Chris Adrian. Here are the top fifteen short stories available according to Entertainment Weekly.
- Read interviews on the Paris Review. Speaking of archives, the Paris Review’s interview archive is incredible. I am obsessed. I love looking up my favorite writers and reading what they really think about writing and their craft. I discovered my favorite interview piece of all time in this archive: William Faulkner on writing, life, religion, and how he came up with The Sound and The Fury.
- Read thirty free essays from David Foster Wallace. Everybody loves a good (educated) laugh, and DFW will deliver. He’s a great person to read if you want to feel cool, literary, and very weirded out by humanity (I mean, we eat lobsters. Lobsters).
- Discover poetry through Poetry Out Loud. Yes, I know we were all forced to look at this website in high school, and then humiliate ourselves in verse in front of our English classes. Well, humiliation no more. You can browse some pretty amazing poetry, read poet profiles, and listen to poems recited by some very talented high school students. I’ve found some of my favorite poetry on this site.
- Read (not watch) some TedTalks. Have you ever been watching TV, but you want to watch a video, and you think, “Oh no, I have to either stop watching TV or not watch this video. I can’t do both.” Well, now you can! All TedTalks are now transcribed, meaning you can just read them instead of watching them. Or, for those of us who are a little hard of hearing, you can do both.
Happy reading! Or TV watching. It’s your life.
*Or alternatively, with actual literature compiled from many different sources. But I warn you: libraries are scary places on weekends.