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, samzdat.
You need the premium version to send articles daily (vs manually) or to have over 25 feeds. It’s well worth the “$2.9” per month for me.
There’s a sweet feature where it can extract the full text of summary-only feeds so that you don’t have to read them in the crappy Kindle browser.
You can also read RSS feeds directly on the Kindle4RSS site. Hilariously, it’s so much faster and less complicated than almost every “modern web app” that it might be the best web-based RSS reader as well.
Instapaper sounds like they have a feature like this, but it works terribly. Don’t try.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. ↩︎