What do you do during a stay-at-home order other than read? I’ve cracked open my 852-page Classic Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald, my parents are constantly absorbing news from CNN, and Apple iBooks have been offering some selections for free (including a large read-along Sesame Street collection that comes highly recommended by my 7-year-old sister).
While books are always great, I’m finding myself with a shorter and shorter attention span and fear to commit to longer works. I’m a big consumer of online articles though, and here are some of the best websites to peruse for your different moods.
- When You’re Feeling Anxious
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Refinery29 Money Diaries are my not-so-guilty pleasure. I’m an avid reader of them, and they are an amazing distraction: either I end up lost in my own cosmopolitan daydreams or I’m marveling at something the diarist said/did (like the one time someone just casually took some ecstasy during the day). R29 also produces great pieces about managing your personal finance, maintaining your emotional health, and great quarantine articles, ranging from bathrobe recs for your perfect WFH to how to cut your hair at home.
- When You’re Bored
I have never been able to scroll through The Cut and not find something worth reading. Current homepage reads include An Oral History of a Socially Distanced Wedding, Mitt Romney Thinks ‘Hot Dog’ Is a Food Group, and Do I Need Good Posture to Use a Standing Desk? The writing is clever, deep, and hard to put down. The Cut also publishes Sex Diaries, if that’s your thing.
- When You’re Feeling Empirical
FiveThirtyEight is every quant’s dream. Its reputation for statistical analysis is no joke— the site even provides all the data it uses for public viewing and analysis. It’s not only a great site to check in on the election (featuring pretty graphics), but it’s prime material for some probability/math-leaning intellectual stimulation too, in the form of weekly editions of The Riddler.
- When You’ve Been Scrolling on LinkedIn for Hours Now
Every time I scroll on LinkedIn, I just end up reading Forbes articles. Sure, I like posts and comment the occasional “Congratulations!,” but the majority of my LinkedIn activity is clicking into links. And those links are, overwhelmingly, redirects to Forbes, so I figured, why not cut out the middle man? That way I can read the daily Forbes quote too, in addition to skimming the top management consulting firms and trying to figure out how Trump and The Fed are destroying the U.S. dollar.
- When You’re Not Really in the Mood to Read
While the right article can have a read length of 40 minutes and still keep me engaged the whole time, I prefer to get my news in bite-sized portions. Especially in the global state we’re currently in, full-length news pieces are bound to put me in a less-than-happy mindset. Quartz presents you with a briefing of all you need to know, with links for further reading if you’re into it, but no pressure.