Vacationers, Rejoice! Longreads Now Has a Travel Channel

The curator of long-form writing has a new section -- and a new business model.

Paul Keller/Flickr

So you're settling into a plane for a long-haul flight. You are in the middle seat. Of a five-seat row. It is going to be a long trip.

Very few things at this point (save a miraculous bump up to first class or the discovery that your seatmate is George Clooney) will make your trip more pleasurable. One of those things, though, is a good, long story to read -- with bonus points if the good, long story is about the place you'll be exploring once you land. From that perspective, today brings good news: Longreads, one of the web's most prominent curators of long-form writing, just launched Travelreads, a new channel meant to help lovers of long-form writing "find and share the best stories about the best places in the world."

In a blog post, Longreads founder Mark Armstrong explains the logic of Travelreads:

One of the coolest things about Longreads is when someone tweets:

"I'm at the airport about to fly to San Francisco / New York / London / India / Argentina. I need some #Longreads for the trip."

This got us thinking: What if we started gathering the best #longreads for every destination in the world?

The project wants to harness that particular collision of awesome that is traveling to a great place and actually having the time to read about that place. "We wanted to think about curating for the moments when you're thinking about planning a trip, boarding a flight, or arriving in a new destination," Armstrong told me -- moments when you're extra-interested in reading about, say, Hemingway's Spain, or Sherlock Holmes's London, or Walt Disney's World. The curated content itself "might be a classic 'travel' story," Armstrong says, "or it might be a short story or magazine piece that's set in a particular city or destination" -- so, "geolocated Longreads, basically."

Longreads staff will do the curating of the channel's stories, but -- true to the service's Web 2.0 form -- "community will play a big part," as well, Armstrong says. "Readers can share stories via #travelreads, and we'll also be interacting with the main #longreads community."

With the new channel -- the first dedicated channel for the service -- Longreads is also launching a new business model: Travelreads is sponsored by Virgin Atlantic. It's an approach, Armstrong says, "that serves both the Longreads community and Virgin Atlantic's community, by doing what we do best -- providing a service that finds the best stuff on the web and links directly to the original publishers' work, on Twitter, on Facebook, and on"

It's also an approach that could signal a (financial) way forward for a service that sprang up, three years ago, as the personal hobby of a guy who wanted a place that would celebrate and aggregate long-form journalism. For a site that exists pretty much entirely to send its users to other sites, a sponsorship scheme makes a lot of sense. And the deal with Virgin could be just the beginning. The telling last line of Armstrong's Travelreads announcement? "If you're a brand and would like to work with Longreads, here's more information on the services we provide."

Presented by

Megan Garber is a staff writer at The Atlantic.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus


Confessions of Moms Around the World

A global look at the hardest and best job ever


A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book


The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"


This Japanese Inn Has Been Open for 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

More in Technology

Just In