If you want to improve your English, there’s nothing better than a healthy reading diet of interesting, understandable English. And if you want to become a good writer, there’s no better way than to read the works of good writers. Byliner, a relatively new web site, simplifies finding and choosing good things to read and promises to help you “discover great reads by great writers.”
Put simply, curators are people who identify, organize, and share. In a museum, a curator identifies significant works of art, organizes them into exhibitions, and shares the artworks with museum visitors in a way that helps people enjoy and understand them.
Byliner is a curated web site for readers. By identifying, organizing, and sharing “great reads”, they make it possible for upper-intermediate and advanced English learners to spend valuable time reading rather than looking.
When you go to the Byliner home page, you’ll find a list of topics – arts, science, politics, business, tech, travel, sports, and crime – across the top of the page. Clicking on a topic takes you to a topic page with recommended articles, links to articles by a featured writer, and links to the works of the three most frequently read writers in that topic. If you find a writer you like, you can follow him or her to be sure you hear about new articles from them.
Spotlight is a daily collection of articles about a current topic. Today it’s Tech Bubble 2.0? about technology and whether or not we’re entering another tech bubble. The last few days, they’ve spotlighted Arctic Adventures, Tales from Titanic, and others. You can use the Spotlight RSS feed to have each daily Spotlight sent directly to your favorite RSS reader.
The Story Lineup sidebar makes it easy to quickly scan lists of current, just added, and popular articles. And at the bottom of the home page, you can sign up to receive The best stories of the week, Byliner’s weekly email newsletter.
Getting started with Byliner
A good place to start – and the Spotlight that got my attention – is a yearly collection of articles called 101 Spectacular Nonfiction Stories compiled by Conor Friedersdorf.
Wherever you begin, Byliner looks like the kind of web site you’ll want to return to again and again.