Learning List

I used to read many more books than I do now, both fiction and non-fiction. But over years I’ve found video, audio and digital media getting added as important channels for learning along with the books.

I find blogs and digital magazines as the best channel for non-fiction as online articles can have embedded links to supporting references and tend to convey the key message better. I’ve started following a lot of youtube channels as while traveling on a bumpy road or standing in a metro train, watching videos can be easier than reading articles on a phone screen but I would say the preference is still 70:30 in favor of written material. However for fiction it’s the other way round, there are stories that Netflix and Youtube offer are at such convenience that it becomes much engaging and easier as compared with books and articles. Even for non-fiction, we’re getting so much video content these days with cool animations to explain concepts.

So I can say my preference is increasing becoming more evenly split between reading books and blogs, listening to podcasts and watching youtube and other videos. I spent some time in organizing all the content I consume for my own tracking, and hopefully makes it easier for someone new to take recommendations in bulk!

I’ve seen my average count of paper books to have come down to less than 5 per year. I still have a Goodreads profile but yeah it’s not as active as it used to be. I use Moon+ Reader to read my books, in epub format.

My main digital reading happens via Feedly where I follow too many blogs, that to be honest are getting harder and harder to keep up with. For those blogs which publish too frequently, I prefer newsletters instead of updates per post. For blogs which are not related to general news updates, I follow them within Gmail, and have shifted all others to Stoop, a nifty app in the market that creates a new mail ID for you, solely to create an newsletter specific inbox. Funny coincidence is that I got to know about the app while reading one of the blogs on Feedly! Since there is already a problem of plenty, so I subscribe to a limited set of newsletters, and weekly editions wherever possible.

Stoop also allows subscription to youtube videos, so I tried following major news channels, but they just post too much, like every hour! So, I just scan the feed for documentaries and explainers, or whatever catches my eye but even then it’s more noise than signal. Someone needs to tell this to their marketing bosses. For individual channels that post more innovative content at a more sane frequency of once or twice a week, I use InoReader, a worthy alternative to Feedly. I chose not to add video feeds in Feedly to keep blogposts and youtube videos separate.

Lastly, there is a new class of content that’s taken the world by storm, Podcasts! No one knew internet radio would be cool again. Every news channel and blog wants to have a podcast now, but not everything is meant for this medium. Much like how i split my videos, I’m following the news podcasts in Google Podcasts app. I’ve started adding a few other related categories as well here, essentially all shows which are about general catchup over what’s happening in world. For more serious podcasts which talk about more specific topics, I follow them in Pocketcasts. I also started listening to more longer audiobooks on Audible, but honestly, with too much content to catchup on, I couldn’t deal with the slow paced audiobooks, so I am no longer active on this medium, but it works for some people.

As you can probably tell, I am a hoarder of information, so if you come across any new blog, podcast or youtube channel, please feel free to share with me!