Speak to me

I just listened to three saved articles in the Instapaper app (iOS), using the “Speak” feature introduced in the most recent version (which is also now free). Fantastic.

No such feature has ever worked well enough for me to be more than a novelty, but Instapaper is already mission critical for me, well-integrated into my workflow for years now. Adding the ability to catch up on my “reading” while I walk is a major benefit. I need to inject walks into my long days of writing,1 and I often try to add value to that time with podcasts and audiobooks and phone calls — but there’s only so much of these things I can call work. Meanwhile, Instapaper is crammed with much higher priority content that I need to absorb — somehow — as badly as I need the walks. Speak is the solution I’ve been waiting for.

The cadence of the voice is robotic, for sure, but it didn’t take me long to adapt to it. I’ll embrace anything that can help stop my virtual reading from piling up to the ceiling.

  1. Elegant irony: this is exactly what one of the articles was about. See “Why Walking Helps Us Think.” Another about posture was obliquely related. The third? This crazy-interesting article about how ancient Chinese medicine wasn’t so much wise and profound as it was just fucking awful.