The Long Good Read highlights the most popular, most interesting, long form content from the Guardian, twice a day. It’s the meaty, good stuff. The stuff you want to sink into on a Sunday morning, over a cup of coffee.
It was created by Dan Catt at the Guardian. It fetches all of the articles over a certain word count from the Guardian API, and uses data from the Guardian Zeitgeist to pick the best articles for the day. Those are published on the site at 5am every day, and you can subscribe to the RSS feed or stick the articles in something like Instapaper or Readability.
The only problem is that, except perhaps for the Kindle, no-one really enjoys reading on a screen, especially for long-form content like this. And so we helped Dan to produce a prototype of a paper version of a week of The Long Good Read (12th-18th March). And here it is.
This issue with 14 stories weighs in at 24 pages. It feels like a real thing, you can hold it, fold it, take out wasps and flies in one arcing sweep with it, it’s a thing of wonder.
It’s also different from reading a newspaper, your eyes aren’t skipping round the page as much, scanning articles figuring out which ones to read. Sure, in this case not every article is going to appeal and you can quickly move onto the next one (and the one after etc) until you find something you want to read. But when you do it’s always something decent to get your teeth into.
It feels like something I’d want to subscribe to, a longer title could be “Things Probably Worth Reading as Filtered by Everyone Else, Weekly“. I can see myself reading it on the train (indeed I did) and doodling in the footers, or settling down with my slippers and liquorice pipe in front of the fire with it.
Read more about it over at Dan’s fantastic blog post explaining what worked, what didn’t, and why.
And watch this space: Dan’s having another go next week.