Use RSS Feeds to Read More Fiction

I spotted this mournful little image online the other day and had to smile, because I’ve never stopped using RSS feeds.

RSS feeds are built into every site that has a blog element to it, and if that site is built with WordPress (most sites are, including this one), then even if there’s no “blog” there, there is an RSS feed.

Think of RSS Feeds as the live streaming version of blog posts.  TV series and movies are live streamed and you can watch them if you have a viewer than can handle the live stream.  We use an Apple TV device.  There are others.

An RSS feed is the live stream that all blogs and many sites send out, that can be “read” by an RSS feed reader.

Google Reader has gone, but there are other readers out there (which I’ll get to in a minute).

First though, why should you care about RSS Feeds if you only read fiction?

Reading via an RSS Feed reader avoids nearly all the advertisements

This is perhaps the best reason for reading anything via its RSS feed – the ads don’t come along for the ride. 

I’ve visited plenty of sites where there are so many pop up ads, internal post ads, sidebar ads and more, that I can’t see the post itself.  And if I’m reading it on a phone, sometimes I can’t see or reach the “x” that shuts the ad down.

I usually click away from such sites, but that means, often, I’m missing out on content I really wanted to read.

Reading those same posts via an RSS feed reader means ad-free reading.  The one exception to this is if the site only publishes partial content via their feed, with a link back to the site.

But the joys of ad-free reading are so great, that I often just unsubscribe from the sites that will only publish a partial feed, and never go back there.

More reasons you might want to use a feed reader:

There are a TON of Online Fiction Magazines

They may not call themselves magazines. They go by many names, including “literary journal” and more. But their aim is to publish fiction, sometimes in specific genres, sometimes anything goes.

There are no sites that publish purely romance fiction that I’ve found (but if there is, let me know). However, if you check out the all-genre publications, and roam outside the romance genre, and most especially, if you like reading science fiction and/or fantasy, there is a small mountain of fiction out there. And it’s usually free to read.  Even the subscription sites publish a handful of short stories free each month.

Start your search here, or here, or here.

Add long read sites

“Long read” sites are sites that publish, well, long read articles.  They’re often non-fiction, but they’re thought pieces—well researched, usually thought provoking, and because of their length, often a pain to read right there on the site itself unless you’re reading it on a desktop (and sometimes, not even then, thanks to ads).

These sites are perfect for reading via their RSS feed.

Start with Longform or Longreads, to get a feel for the long form.  When you’re ready and curious to try more, search for “longform journalism” and see what pops.

Then there’s the news sites

While you’re digging up fiction feeds to fill your reader, and if you like browsing news sites and staying on top of the news, you can also add the RSS feed of news sites to your reader. 

Sans ads and other districtions, you can absorb your news undiluted.  Try

Top 10 Best News Sites & Sources In 2022, or

Top 15 Most Popular News Websites | June 2022  to get you started.

Eight Free RSS Readers to check out

There are paid version of some of these, and some only-for-pay readers.  Once you’ve experimented with RSS feeds, and decide you like them, then consider buying a reader, or paying for the full version of one.

I use InoReader and up until this year, I paid for the pro version, which you can tailor with rules and filters and much more.  But I’ve cut back to the simple and free version, and it works just fine, particularly for cellphone reading (unlike the sites where the feeds come from).

Feedly 

Inoreader 

NewsBlur 

Feedreader Online 

Feeder 

Good News 

The Old Reader