To be clear, this column is not intended as a constant reminder of the importance of using at RSS reader. How you get your content isn’t important (although an RSS reader for me and many editors I know, remains the most convenient method). What’s important is finding what internet resources can enrich our lives as writers, readers and cultural consumers.
The book world and the community that revolves around it is in the middle of major changes and the internet manifestation of that world has become exceedingly important. We as readers and writers rely on the internet to connect us with the news and developments of the book world. Otherwise, what do we have, aside from a table of staff recommendation at our local bookstore and the best-seller list? We can’t even look across the subway to see what somebody is reading anymore as it’s often just the black casing of their kindle. Thus, I’ll continue to try and mine the gold out of this cavernous and soot filled mine that is the internet. For more of my online spelunking follow me at on Twitter @jonreiss and check out more of my writing at jonreiss.tumblr.com
Jason Boog is the editor of Mediabistro’s Galleycat blog and as such, probably has his finger on the pulse of the book world in a way that few do. To an aspiring writer, the world of literary agents and publishers can appear so cryptic and esoteric that sending out a manuscript can feel more like being a fledgling scientist at SETI than an author. If you’re in said position you’ve probably had at least one moment of sheer and utter appreciation for what Jason Boog does, whether you’re aware of it or not. Boog has written for Granta, The Believer and The Lost Angeles Review of Books and his literary debut is forthcoming.
We caught up with Boog to discern just how he manages to keep up with every tidbit relevant to the book world, online. Boog went above and beyond, sharing with us not just what is in his RSS Feed, but what’s in his Tumblr feed and Twitter feeds as well. Find Jason at jasonboog.com and follow him on Twitter @jasonboog.
I used to be orderly and use an RSS reader to keep track of publishing stories. However, since the advent of social media, my reading crashes all over the place over the course of a day. So rather than a neat list, I’ve divided my messy virtual reading list into themes instead of a few sites.
My story research is more like hopscotch instead of a systematic reading. I start with publishing news, exploring my favorite sites via Twitter so I can start chasing leads. I spend the most time on these
Beyond that, I spend the rest of my day hopscotching between my favorite sites. It’s like dancing in the firehose spray, really. I splash and I splash, plucking out my favorite stories for the day. Lately, I’ve spent a lot of time exploring my Tumblr reading list, lots of fun things happening there:
I moved to Los Angeles last year, so there is a part of my life dedicated to exploring the vibrant literary world out here.
We recently launched a Self-Published Bestsellers List,
so lately I’ve been obsessed with finding new voices in this world. I have a few resources I consult when looking for books people love in this rapidly growing space:
Throughout this whole process, I’m listening to Spotify. I use some amazing apps on the site to keep my music fresh throughout the day, including the Pitchfork, KCRW and NME music apps. You have to be a Spotify user to connect to those apps, but it is worth it. You can read smart reviews and listen to the music on the same page.
Finally, I keep track of The Awl, Gawker and io9 all day, because I’ve been a loyal reader for years and I always find something new to think about on those sites.
There is no particular order to all of this reading, I just keep splashing in the firehose until I find what I’m looking for. It’s different every day, that’s my favorite part of my job. At the same time, it never ends. You could stand in front of the firehose all day and drown too. I won’t pretend that I read everything, but I know what I’m looking for when I see it.