4 digital goldmines to find your next offline reading experience 2

Ironically, a study from the University of Washington showed that digital natives prefer…PRINT. Yep, you read right. Turning a page and not sweeping on the ipad, physically holding a book in your hands and disconnecting has its advantages. There are numerous pros and cons to the exhausting book versus e-book debate and that’s why for now we will bluntly leave it aside and use the web for what it is best: hunting for information!

Here are 4 digital sources to find your next analog reading adventure:

1 – Maria’s bookshelf
Maria Popova, the digital literature Nostradamus of the web, runs the blog “Brain Pickings” since 2006. She regularly publishes blog posts on books, writers, literature, biographies and much more.

“Brain Pickings is my one-woman labor of love — a subjective lens on what matters in the world and why. Mostly, it’s a record of my own becoming as a person — intellectually, creatively, spiritually — and an inquiry into how to live and what it means to lead a good life.”

Maria Popova

A little bit hidden, but a pity to miss, is Maria’s bookshelf, where she collects all the book reviews sorted into categories (art, science, creativity, psychology, history and design). This is a perfect way to browse through and look out for your next book. Other great gems on Brain Pickings are her theme and annual reading lists. Brain Pickings tends to have a focus on humanities and arts, but by far not exclusively, thus give it a shot!

2 – A Library on the Edge
For science geeks, Edge is the website to get inspired from! In the publishing world, literary agent John Brockman is THE person when it comes to scientific literature. He founded the Edge foundation to bring together people working at the edge of a broad range of scientific and technical fields. If you are interested in a wide range of scientific fields or interdisciplinary issues, the annual question book series from Edge is great. Every year, John Brockman phrases a question (2015: What do you think about machines that think?) and invites intellectuals from various fields, ranging from neuroscientists, historians to philosophers, to each answer this question in short assays, which collectively make up the book. The platform was launched online as early as 1996 and thus not surprisingly throughout the years many thinkers contributed to Edge in form of blog posts, videos and interviews. To collect all their wisdom, the website hosts a library with the contributors books and book suggestions. Indeed, a valuable source to browse through!

3 – TED books
TED books? Well, there are not only TED talks. Since 2014 the TED pallet has been enriched by original books from TED that let you dig deeper into a topic. Watch a TED talk and if your interest is sparked then pick up one of the books from TED book authors, who follow up ideas in more depth!

4 – Open culture
Besides being the director of the Continuing Studies Program at the Stanford University, Dan Colman founded in 2006 the platform Open Culture to distribute and open up high-quality, free, cultural & educational media for everyone. The visual appearance and arrangement of the website might not be the most appealing but Open Culture provides a great range of textbooks for Physics, Biology, Management and much more. All for free! Just download your book of choice, print it or pick one of the free eBooks. In general, the strength of the platform is to get quick, easy and cheap, namely for zero money, access to learning material and to get to know more about classical disciplines such as history, math, economics etc.

By the way, if you are totally a fan of reading ebooks and blog posts, all four platforms offer great online content as well!

For the retro lovers & night owls


photo credit Lisa Landskron

In Vienna, bookworms should definitely not miss Phil. Nope it’s not an online resource but an actual bar with real books, waiters, chairs and tables. It is open until 1 AM at night and while you are having a glas of wine you can dig through their assortment of books and records. If you are lucky and fall in love with one item (or two – we know how that always ends…), you can buy it right away and take it home!

Check out our book reviews “Coffee house readings“. Don’t miss it!

Hope the search for your next favorite book is easier now! If you have any great book to recommend, leave us a comment!

featured image by TJ Alshemaeree

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About Lisa Landskron

Being a scientist in the field of molecular biology & leading the TEDxVienna Blogger team, Lisa loves to do biochemical as well as digital experiments to create and spread ideas.

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