Looking for Literary Content?
While some book lovers have shunned the electronic age in favor of a book in hand, many of those are at least enjoying the websites devoted to literature. From book reviews to interviews with authors, the following ten websites receive a ton of traffic from avid readers. Whether someone wants to find out what everyone else is reading or add some interesting blogs and columns to their reading list, these ten will expand one’s reading pleasure. They are listed in order by their Alexa traffic count rating.
Global Alexa Rating: 2,239
Page-Turner is the place to go for blogs, reviews, podcasts, videos and more about the literary world in which we live. Content is added practically every day and a podcast is added each month. Most months end up with over 45 additions for the month with some past months well over that. The site has much more from The New Yorker as well including digital and online archive access via subscription. Besides the Page-Turner section there is also a fiction book section, critics section and fiction podcasts section. The main page gives one the ability to look at five pages worth of posts but clicking ‘archive’ will bring up all past months back to May 2008 as well as the ability to pull up all posts by a specific author.
Global Alexa Rating: 29,678
McSweeney’s is a publishing company based in San Francisco, California. They began in 1998 as a literary journal that published works rejected by other magazines but that’s changed since then as they have attracted wonderful writers. This site includes blogs and columns with many being of a whimsical nature though readers will find some heartwarming and sad items as well. The site is well laid out with Today’s Feature, Recently, Popular and Columns. Adding this website to one’s reading list is a perfect momentary distraction from whatever is currently being read to add some diversity to the equation.
Global Alexa Rating: 54,176
BookRiot has both professional writers and others to discuss books and since there is a wide variety of people writing the reviews there is also a wide variety of styles. This diversity is the main benefit of this site as you’ll find both serious and silly. The site also includes a feature video, more videos, book trailers and podcasts. An interesting feature of this website is their Critical Thinking post which is a daily round-up of bookish links. Users can also sign up for their newsletter which comes out every two weeks. They also have a weekly giveaway!
Global Alexa Rating: 55,434
The Paris Review was founded in 1953 as a way to emphasize creative fiction and poetry. The website gives access to some archived articles without a subscription and users can purchase either single copies or an annual subscription (print or digital). Between the free content and the blogs this website is a great source of information and enjoyable reading. Topics are listed to the right of the blogs making it easy to locate blogs on a particular topic such as poetry, food, out of print, nostalgia and more.
Global Alexa Rating: 79,923
Granta is another magazine with a long history – founded in 1889 by Cambridge University students it began as a periodical of student politics, student badinage and student literary enterprise. They changed things in 1979 when they began publishing a quarterly book of the best new writing including fiction, memoirs, poetry and photography from emerging talent and fine authors. Those with a subscription to the print edition also receive full access to the entire website including archives. Alternately a digital subscription can be purchased that gives limited access to some content as far back as 1979. The website is also a source for much free content including articles, essays, interviews, memoirs, poetry, photography and more.
Global Alexa Rating: 112,023
Having just celebrated their 10th anniversary it is nothing short of amazing that this site has grown to worldwide notoriety. This site is absolutely loaded with essays, book reviews and lists. A notable list is that each year they kick off ‘Year in Reading’ and add to the list as the year progresses. Each month they post ‘The Millions Top Ten’ which is also a great tool to decide what to add to your own reading list. The current list is also right on the home page of the website in both list and picture format. A great feature of the top ten list is the ability to click on one of the titles and be taken right to Amazon.com to read more about the book and purchase it if desired. Also on the home page of the site is The Millions Hall of Fame which also provides direct links to the books on Amazon. This website might be shown in 6th place due to Alexa traffic rating but it is a huge favorite nonetheless!
Global Alexa Rating: 116,377
Rumpus is the place for essays, reviews, interviews, music, film advice, poetry and even comics. If you’ve heard of Dear Sugar, the advice column by Cheryl Strayed, this is where she began as a columnist before the publication of her memoir ‘Wild’ and a collection of columns ‘Tiny Beautiful Things’ both hit the New York Times bestseller list. The website is nicely organized with Books, Comics, Columns, Topics, Events, Kids, Letters in the Mail, Book Club and Shop. The Topics section is further categorized into Art, Books, Comics, Film, Music, Poetry, Politics and Sex. There is so much fun on this website that you might just find the hours slip away as you traverse through the many offerings. A nice feature is the ability to subscribe to The Daily Rumpus – an overly personal email from Stephen Elliott. The Weekly Rumpus is also available on iTunes.
Global Alexa Rating: 123,228
This is a nonprofit, multimedia literary and cultural arts magazine hence it covers more than just books and literature but also includes reviews of music, theater, film and art. They currently have over 250 award-winning writers and contributing editors as well as over 100 contributing artists. They depend on donations and offer various levels of memberships from $4 per month up to a $2,500 Platinum Supporter membership. One-time donations are also accepted. The site is easy to navigate with pull-down menus for Reviews, Essays and Interviews. The interviews section has written, podcast and video interviews.
Global Alexa Rating: 135,623
The New Inquiry is a non-profit that aspires to enrich cultural and public life through a variety of resources that promote and explore ideas. As a non-profit they do accept donations and offer a subscription to their magazine which includes full access to their complete archive. Featured contributors and bloggers supply interesting essays, reviews and blogs. Two interesting features on the site are a monthly crossword puzzle that can be printed out and a Sunday Reading section.
Global Alexa Rating: 952,954
This site is the perfect place to go if you want to catch just one story each week because that is what they do – one editor picked story shown in its entirely and then commented about in an Editor’s Note. Have no fear that you won’t have anything else to read, however, as the past picks are available in the Archive section. It is nice to have something interesting to add to one’s reading list that won’t take you away for hours at a time from other reading pursuits.
The combination in these ten websites of extra reading material and reviews to help choose books to read will keep any book enthusiast busy. Melding the technical age with the magnificent feel of a book in one’s hands is a beautiful thing. Even those that have fully embraced eBooks can enjoy the benefits of these websites. Happy Reading!