Caleb Schoepp

Tackling My Overflowing Reading List

Published April 22, 2023

Do you ever find yourself opening endless tabs on your phone’s browser with posts you want to read, but never actually get around to reading them? Recently, I discovered a technique to help me manage my ever-growing reading list, and I thought it would be worth sharing.

Whenever I come across a page I think I would enjoy reading I open it as a new tab in my phone’s browser. Between email newsletters and my RSS feed it’s not uncommon for me to store away multiple posts for later reading in a day. It wouldn’t take long before I had twenty to thirty tabs open each containing a page I was genuinely interested in but never seemed to have the time to read. It started to feel overwhelming, and I knew I needed a solution.

That’s when I discovered my phone’s text-to-speech feature. Most smartphones have a built-in ability to read webpages aloud, and it’s been the key to helping me “read” through my backlog. On a Pixel 7 all you have to do is open the webpage and then say “Hey Google! Read this to me.”

Now, whenever I have some free time, like when I’m walking or doing chores, I let my phone read the posts out loud. Doing this has essentially turned these unread posts into a personalized podcast library. I can even turn up the reading speed to 1.5x which really lets me power through the backlog.

While this technique has been immensely helpful for me, it’s worth noting that it has a couple of disadvantages. First, the text-to-speech voice can be very monotonous. Second, this approach works poorly for highly technical content or posts that rely heavily on visuals.

Hope this helps anybody else out there with an overwhelming reading list.

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