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Podthoughts: Longform Podcast

Vital stats:
Format: interviews with writers and editors of long-form articles
Episode duration: 35m-1h
Frequency: weekly

Say 3:00 a.m. has rolled around. I’ve walked my lady home, downed whatever wine remained in the night’s bottle, sent the day’s last few dangling e-mails, read two or three page-downs on Twitter, glanced at Facebook, and checked the New Yorker for anything new from Anthony Lane. Icould go to bed. Or I could check Though I rarely admit it, I only direct my browser that way in hopes of finding a 3,000-, 5,000-, or — jackpot — 10,000-word article so interesting as to deprioritize sleep and the dull preparations it demands. I imagine you’ve done this too. If you happen to have a day job, maybe you’ve burned hours of your employer’s time — even days of it — reading articles aggregated by Longform and its ilk (Longreads, say), luxuriating in a combination of boredom, fascination, and sheer spite. I had to ditch my own day job after envisioning the decades ahead melting into an ocean of text, often damned interesting but essentially opiate.

Though I no longer rely on Longform as that sort of drip-feed, it has remained in my night-elongating rotation — no morning pressure to get to “the office,” after all — and I took notice when the site began putting out a podcast [RSS] [iTunes]. The show delivers not audio versions of long-form articles but interviews with the sort of people who write and commission them: folks from New York magazine, the New Yorker, the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine… you know, the publications whose sites you pull up after dark looking for an extended distraction. (Also publications with “New York” in the title. Longform does have its office, I believe, in New York, but guys, come on — America has two cities.) Built at the intersection of an addiction to long-form articles and a compulsion to listen to interview podcasts, the Longform Podcast should sit right in my personal (and thus professional) wheelhouse. Yet I approached with trepidation.

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