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What Do You Use to Read Web Articles on Your eReader?

An interesting discussion just showed up on one of the forums I follow, and I thought it would make a good topic for the blog.

"Everyone knows" that ereaders are used for reading ebooks, but that’s not all they can do. A lot of readers, including yours truly, like to clip articles they find online and send the articles to their ereader for later enjoyment.

For example:

I’ve used Pocket & Instapaper in the past but both seem to be wonky now, and neither can be downloaded through calibre. Downloading through calibre is not necessary but it is convenient, when it works. Anyone using a system they like for compiling web articles for reading on the kindle?

Me, I prefer to use the Instapaper app on my Fire tablet. While Instapaper can send articles to the Kindle (Pocket has a similar feature for Kobo) I still prefer the app because the articles arrive faster and because I just prefer the tablet over an ereader.

Do you send web articles to your Kindle, or another ereader? What service do you use?


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Reader December 16, 2017 um 11:30 am

I copy web articles onto MS Word, and use Calibre to change over.
I do not use e-readers for the web. I use a PC to download web articles.

gregoire December 16, 2017 um 12:15 pm

instapaper+android ereader. its the main reason i bought it in the first place.

Don DeBon December 16, 2017 um 1:03 pm

It depends. I like calibre and have used it a lot. But I also use greader since most of the places I follow use RSS.

Isaac December 16, 2017 um 1:11 pm

As mentioned in the article, Kobo has built-in support for Pocket, so I use that (I own the original H2O). Really smooth experience; in fact, I spend most of my time with my ereader reading articles rather than books.

Davemich December 16, 2017 um 1:39 pm

The chrome mail-to-kindle extension.

Ed Bear December 16, 2017 um 1:58 pm

I turn ’em into PDFs. Readdle has superb apps for my iPad.

Kaz Augustin December 16, 2017 um 10:18 pm

Every ereader app collects information on what you read, whether it’s a book or article. And that info gets sent to who-knows-how-many companies/agencies.
If I see an article I like, I save it as PDF and then open the PDF in an open-source PDF reader on my tablet. Sure, it’s not convenient but, otoh, I don’t have *as much* of my reading experience transmitted to Other Parties. I’m still looking around for a better strategy.
(PS I used to be an IT Project Manager for the Internet Security Division of a Silicon Valley IT company.)

Don DeBon December 17, 2017 um 12:54 am

Actually, not all of them do. The ones that have "read anywhere" features do (which are most of the default apps on the devices). However, there are many 3rd party apps that don’t "phone home". FBReader being one, CoolReader being another I can think of.

One way around this if you are concerned about the privacy issue with the default apps but still want to use them is to turn off the radio and sideload all the books. It can’t phone home your reading interests then.

Kaz Augustin December 17, 2017 um 12:58 am

That’s exactly what I said, Don. I mentioned "open source" readers, which include FBReader, Okular, etc. etc. But which don’t include the Kindle app, Kobo app, Nook app, etc. etc. I was trying to be brief and so didn’t list every single app in nauseating detail.
And of COURSE sideloading collects information. If you don’t think it does, you don’t know what your app is really doing.

Don DeBon December 17, 2017 um 2:00 am

Well you mentioned open source and PDF reader, I mentioned apps that are also epub readers. I thought it might be worth mentioning a name or two as some people might want to look one up.

And I DIDN’T say it would stop them collecting information, but with the radio off it can’t transmit it. So if you only sideload and don’t use the radio/wireless connection, it can’t tell on your habits. That was my point, if someone wanted to continue to use the default app for whatever reason (perhaps the device needs to be rooted to use other apps) and had the same concerns you do.

Ron December 17, 2017 um 1:27 am

I just have different online personalities for different purposes. Different names, ages, accounts and so on. Of course with enough effort those could be connected somehow but I doubt that automated tracking systems are up to that task. In the end all internet traffic is monitored by multiple agencies anyway.

Kaz Augustin December 17, 2017 um 1:59 am

Doesn’t work. Very passe. Exceedingly naive. To figure out why, I suggest you visit for ONE available tactic.
Also, "automated tracking systems" are waaaay up to task, esp. if you realise the number of supercomputers that are being used for such purposes. Academia is openly lobbying for government funds to further tracking projects and I suggest you start skimming appropriate journals to read more details. It’s all there and out in the open. The ostensible purpose is for identifying "terrorists" and "consumer preferences" (say) but it’s a snap to change a couple of parameters and suddenly, lookie here: we know everything about you. And, of course, if academia is signing NDAs with funding bodies (which they are) what they publish in a paper isn’t necessarily what they’re actually researching. Or the money may be so good, they don’t even HAVE to publish-or-perish. I’ve worked in academia, too.

Ron December 17, 2017 um 1:20 am

I used to use pocket but since instapaper became completely free to use, I switched. I save articles to instapaper all day and get them automatically send to my Kindle every evening. I also read those in the Android app as well as in my rss reader – from where I also directly save articles to instapaper.
Articles I want to keep get into folders according to their topic. Those folders can be downloaded or send to the Kindle as well. They also have their folder specific RSS feeds.

Of course you could also download the RSS feeds with calibre.

Vikarti Anatra December 17, 2017 um 2:51 am

I mostly use Pocket because almost all of my e-reading is on tablets. I tried to use instapaper’s-send-to-kindle but it was inconvinient. Calibre’s book from RSS was even less convinient (you have to actually SYNC/use OPDS)

quadtronix December 17, 2017 um 7:07 am

I use Evernote to save links to lots of articles that interest me… that way I can access my links from any device I own as long as i have an internet connection. I can also categorize my links this way, in notebooks and notes… I don’t read articles on ereaders, only tablets and my phone. I use my MacBook Air to collect articles though. I should probably look into how I could use an ereader for offline reading of articles. That does sound pretty awesome!!

Steve H. December 17, 2017 um 9:29 am

I use Pocket on my tablet and don’t clutter up my e-readers.

aus December 17, 2017 um 11:34 am

I read RSS and newspapers on an Android Phone, longer articles in an early version of FBReader (the default reader software) on an Energy Sistem Pro. By using Nova launcher it’s possible to get to FBReader menu items which are normally not available, which gives much greater control.

To get the articles to the eReader, I use the Push to Kindle app to save the article to the phone. I then use Dropsync on the phone to upload to Dropbox and Dropsync on the eReader to download to a directory set up in FBReader.

It sounds convoluted, but it’s automatic and I can control all aspects of the article display. I have used a Kindle in the past (very little control over the display) with Push to Kindle, Instapaper, and Pocket (via crofflr). I’ve also used the Instapaper app on the eReader but the article display is not good for eInk.

nemano December 18, 2017 um 5:47 am

For lengthy and worthy articles, print to PDF or save as HTML in a browser on a PC, then transfer to e-reader and read. I guess browsing and clicking around the web directly on an e-ink device is sustainable only if it’s an Android like Boox or a monitor like Dasung.

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