Literary journalism has found an unlikely ally: the Interweb! Here, Outsideonline.com editor Joe Spring (Twitter: @joespring) reviews the best digital platforms for finding a great read on your next international flight.
Think of Longreads.com as the Huffington Post of long-form journalism, minus the celebrity op-eds. Launched last October by Manhattan digital strategist Mark Armstrong, the website picks three to five outstanding stories each day. Visit the community page to see what big-name authors and editors are reading. Bummer: featured stories are occasionally behind paywalls. Free; Twitter: @longreads
Want just one big story per day? Visit Longform.org and click Editor’s Picks, a collection of hand-selected articles with a focus on storytelling, not news relevance. This is where to get your 22,700-word 1978 New Yorker yarn on Johnny Carson. Text-only versions are available for the iPad, iPhone, and Kindle. Free; Twitter: @longformorg
No site pushes the limits of long-form journalism like The Atavist (atavist.net), co-founded in 2010 by Outside contributor Evan Ratliff: as you read an original story on your iPad about a failed bank heist, a map of the crime scene pops up, along with security video of the breach. Available for Kindle, Nook, iPad, and iPhone. $1.99 for Kindle and Nook, $2.99 from iTunes; Twitter: @theatavist
No video extras here: Byliner (byliner.com), from website developer Ted Barnett and former Outside editors Mark Bryant and John Tayman, focuses on original reporting. The site made a whale-size splash in April with its first story, Jon Krakauer’s “Three Cups of Deceit,” an 89-page evisceration of Greg Mortenson that became a Kindle bestseller. The full site launched in June, giving readers easy access to more than 25,000 curated feature articles–with recommendations based on users’ interests and reading habits. $1.99–$4.99 for Byliner originals for iPad and Kindle; the aggregation service is free; Twitter: @thebyliner