Several shakeups in the world that surrounds my reading have taken place lately, and in each case I’ve completely failed to predict how I would handle them.
When Google announced last month it would be turning off its RSS Reader at the end of June this year I didn’t worry. I do use the product daily to keep track of the 150-odd blogs I follow (about 3/4 of which are book-ish blogs of one sort or another) but I figured I’d simply switch to another product, even a paid one, and not even notice a bump in my blog consumption practices.
I started trialling the various options being talked about in the techosphere almost straight away and now, a month or so later, I am worried. None of the alternatives have taken my fancy, primarily because none of them have an iOS presence to save themselves (whereas there are a gazillion third party apps which hook into Google Reader and I had found just the one to suit me). I’ve tried Feedly (which is awful as it installs background clunk on the desktop and has an iOS app that is determined to present itself as a magazine rather than my preferred list, refusing to retain my settings each time I close it) and Netvibes (which is better but has to be used via a browser on the iPad and I do prefer a dedicated app on my mobile device) and Newsblur (which I found clunky wherever I used it). I am sick of them all demanding I be more social and /or recommending feeds in which I have zero interest and the entire exercise has made me extremely cranky.
So, apologies if I have not visited or commented at your blog in a while…it’s not a lack of interest but a lack of a good road to get me there. Anyone tried any other Google Reader alternatives they like that work well on both a windows desktop and in the iOS environment?
I reacted to Amazon’s purchase of Goodreads by deleting my Goodreads account which, I thought I would miss quite a lot. Turns out, I don’t miss it at all and quickly realised I hadn’t been getting a lot out of the site anyway. I’ve had a terrific month reading-wise but my best recommendations came from the same great places they always have (like Laura and Barbara and Sarah, thanks ladies), any bookish chatting I’ve had time for has taken place at the Friend Feed Crime and Mystery Fiction room (a truly delightful group) and I did reactivate (and pay for) my Library Thing account to have an alternative place to catalogue my reading (other than this blog and my Collectorz database). Even though they’re not handily all in one place these avenues serve my purposes much better than Goodreads ever has and the fact that none of them are plastered with ads or covert Amazonification makes them that much more valuable to me.
Another first world problem
About 2 and a half years ago I bought an eReader in the hope that I would be able to rid myself of the problem of having too many books (and yes I do know how utterly pretentious that sounds). But with limited storage space, a voracious consumption speed and a need to be increasingly creative in the ways I get rid of my physical books I was serious about wanting to make a total switch within five years.
I know now I’m not going to make it.
While I’m perfectly happy to read in the format I just don’t find myself doing it all that much. In my pointless but determined struggle not to be owned by Amazon I didn’t buy a kindle and so it’s generally more of a pain for me to buy eBooks than it ought to be (thanks Adobe, you’re almost as annoying as Amazon) (you did after all have to be shamed by our Government into reconsidering your years-long practice of charging Australians more than double the price Americans pay for the same products but that’s a whole different story) and they’re often not much (or at all) cheaper than their physical counterparts. While I can, now, understand the pricing (a book’s value is not in its physical form, it’s in its content) I do baulk at paying $20+ to rent something that could disappear in a flash and that I can’t loan or donate or leave on a bus for some weary traveller. It’s not uncommon for mainstream published eBooks to cost that much or more here and I am aiming to do all my book shopping within Australia this year which has really added to the slow down of my eBook consumption.
I really thought I would make the switch to eBooks with ease but, so far anyway, it has proven a pricklier problem than anticipated. Though a recent Big Ideas lecture offered the startling prediction that within 7 years 70% of books published in the UK would be published digitally only. If that does prove even vaguely accurate I suppose I’ll have to work on this one.
What about you? Have you found an alternative to Google Reader that works for you? Do you have a Good Reads account? Have you noticed any changes since they ‘joined the Amazon family’? How about eBooks? Have you made the switch? Not interested?