The best RSS reader is Kindle4RSS

January 2019

I really enjoy using RSS to get updates from my favorite writers. But recently I noticed that my RSS feed was starting to get the same distracting pull as Hacker News. I was still under the thumb of the little red badge!

To escape, I decided to experiment with reading RSS feeds on my Kindle via Kindle4RSS. Kindle4RSS bundles up each day’s articles into a single Kindle “magazine issue” and sends it to me once a day at a predictable time. So far, it’s been really awesome–simple and completely non-addictive.1

Most interestingly, I’ve also been appreciating the reading more. On Feedly it’s easy for me to tab away and get distracted; on a Kindle, everything has my full attention. It makes me a lot less likely to bounce off a doorstopper from, say, sam[]zdat.

Random notes:

  1. I also found myself really appreciating the Kindle4RSS app. The first time I used it I thought “man, this thing really just works!” And then, “man, I don’t remember the last time I said that about software with a graphical user interface!” It took me a while to figure out why, but then I realized that the site is absurdly technically minimalist: a ~2002-era multi-page webapp with no images and no Javascript. And it’s screaming fast. The initial load is under half a second… from Senegal. It’s enough to make me sad that I only have to use the site once every few weeks! 

  2. Instapaper’s Kindle integration sends down every unread article every day. You can only mark articles as read by visiting a link. So if you read halfway through Monday’s articles, then all of them will appear in Tuesday’s download too. Do this enough and you can get to a point where it’s impossible to mark anything as read without unread articles slipping through the cracks.

    Also, it randomly failed to actually deliver articles on many days and the support team acted like this was an unfortunate but normal thing to happen. 

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I use RSS Feed Reader chrome extension. It’s great! :) :



Feedreader doesn’t have the little red badge problem (at least not in my configuration of it).