10 Apps & Sites That Bring Back the Joy of Reading

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8. Byliner

With my final three items, I want to shift from app territory into curation territory. Byliner is a San Francisco-based publishing and social networking company with seed funding from Freestyle Capital and SoftTech VC. The startup focuses on works short enough to read in a single sitting. Its website spotlights new long-form writing from prominent publications. You can either follow Byliner’s links to the original articles on the Web, or save them straight to your Read It Later account.

Just as important, Byliner publishes its own line of “Byliner Originals,” pieces that are typically between 10,000 and 35,000 words in length and can be purchased as e-books for $1.99 to $2.99. All Byliner Originals are available for Amazon Kindle readers, and some of them are also available for Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Apple’s iBooks app, Google’s eBookstore, the Sony Reader line, and even Kobo’s Vox eReader. The very first Byliner Original release, a Jon Krakauer exposé about author/educator/mountain climber Gregg Mortensen called “Three Cups of Deceit,” went straight to the top of the Amazon’s non-fiction list.

Basically, Byliner is straddling the line between magazine and book publishing, and taking advantage of the flexibility of the reader apps and e-book platforms to experiment with different ways of promoting long-form journalism. It’s not a product of the minimalist-reading-app trend, but it’s pushing the industry in the same direction.

Next site: Give Me Something To Read.

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Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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