We use the WordPress.com Reader for work and play — to discover great writing and photography to share on Freshly Pressed and to follow personal “pet” topics of interest. Michelle and Pick have already shared their favorite corners of the Reader. Today I get to be Alice in Wonderland and show you how I use the Reader to follow my favorite writers. Welcome to my writerly rabbit hole! Salty snacks and frosty beverages are on the left — help yourself.
I fell in love with longform nonfiction back in the early 90s as a college student, when I first started reading Esquire, among other magazines. Back then, it was all paper. There was no place to read others’ thoughts about the work. No place to discuss ideas or comment on what I’d read. Thankfully today, I can use the WordPress.com Reader to follow the writers I love, find out new information about them, learn of new pieces, commentary, and interviews, and interact with a community of people who love the same kinds of writing.
A summer tradition
The July 2000 issue of Esquire magazine has graced my coffee table for 13 years. Each summer, I re-read Michael Paterniti’s The Long Fall of One-Eleven Heavy, a reflection on the crash of SwissAir 111 on September 2nd, 1998.
Another piece on my re-read list is Tom Junod’s The Falling Man, a piece in which Junod attempts to identify the man in an iconic photo that captures the tragedy and loss of September 11th, 2001.
I’ve been following Paterniti and Junod ever since, reading every word I can get my hands on.
I first discovered David Rakoff via audio segments of This American Life. Intrigued with his wry insights on life and human behavior, I read Fraud, one of his essay collections, then promptly devoured Half Empty — another Rakoff essay collection. Tragically, Rakoff died of Cancer on August 9th, 2012.
All this goodness, in one place
In addition to fun topics such as jamon and tattoo, I’ve got Michael Paterniti, Tom Junod, David Rakoff, and several other favorite writers listed as topics in my WordPress.com Reader — it’s an easy way to find out new information, new pieces, and most importantly, meet a community of people who love longform nonfiction. (I actually found out about Rakoff’s posthumous book via the Reader. It’s a great way to follow the authors you admire.)
Who do you love?
Whose writing do you love? Into Stephen King? Rebecca Solnit? Lev Grossman? Flannery O’Connor? Patrick Rothfuss? George R.R. Martin? No matter whose writing you love, you can learn more about your favorite authors and get to know like-minded readers by following your favorite writers as topics in your WordPress.com Reader.
Proper nouns FTW
Not into reading? How about music? Try following your favorite music artists in the Reader to find your community. Into controversy? Follow the Miley Cyrus topic in your Reader. Whatever your pleasure, you’ll be sure to find posts, commentary, and a passionate community.