Rediscovering the Essay / by Keith Hampson

 Michel de Montaigne, "Father" of the essay

Michel de Montaigne, "Father" of the essay

Taking the time to read for pleasure often feels like a luxury. Time is limited, and studies suggest that our consumption of media has become only more fragmented. We may find time to skim short news articles, and we read for work, but consumption of long form writing is down.

Yet, we're seeing a renewed interest in the long form essay; those slowly and thoughtfully crafted efforts that not only convey information, but do it in creative ways. 

If its' been a while since you enjoyed a long form essay, we've put together your starter-kit. 


Collections of Essays


Sponsored by the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh)

Longreads publishes and curates writing, from personal essays to investigative journalism.


A Hand-Picked Selection of Well-Regarded Essays

Shattered Glass by Buzz Bissinger

The Death of the Moth by Virginia Woolf

On Fear. Our Positive Capability by Mary Ruefle

Mister Lytle: An Essay by John Jeremiah Sullivan

On Self-Respect by Joan Didion

Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace

California Notes by Joan Didion


Capturing and Reading Essays

We recommend Instapaper. It allows you to quickly capture and organise essays (or anything else) on your desktop or mobile. You'll want to get the browser extension, as well.