Right when I was thinking about whether I read enough, Jacinda Woodhead (of Meanland) blogs about Reading Anxiety.

Through that post, I was convinced that Google Reader was worth a look-in. So for the last week I’ve been giving it a test-run. And then Jacinda Woodhead blogged about Google Reader stealing all your reading time.

Dear Jacinda Woodhead – props on some awesome writing, but you’re stealing my blog posts. And I’m feeling mildly creepy for this unintentional thought-stalking. S

Okay, now that’s out of the way: Google Reader.

I’d seen a little mention of it via Gmail, and disregarded it as part of the Google-plan-of-taking-over-the-world. Then I started to see mentions of it everywhere: on Twitter, on trams, on blogs. Everyone’s been mentioning this magical program that takes hours off your online-reading time.

How? Well, Google Reader is a program to which you plug in all the websites you would ordinarily go to every day to check for updates. For me, this is many many. Many.

I’m a hardcore advocate for Gmail. I wouldn’t go back to any other email client if you paid me. So when I got onto Google Reader I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that it runs in much the same way as Gmail. It constantly updates itself (while you’re in it) and makes it really easy to organise material.

You can “star” things in the same way as on Gmail, to come back to important things later. You can search through a huge amount of blog posts to find just the right one. You can view posts in a heap of different ways according to what suits you best.

The only thing is, now there’s NO posts that I miss, anywhere, ever. Now Google Reader is something that adds to my reading anxiety. Having said that, Google Reader saves these posts like unread emails – it sits in bold until I have an afternoon free to catch up on things that aren’t priority.

It’s great though. I’m chuffed. Now, along with Twitter, Facebook and WordPress, I have Google Reader constantly open. It runs calmly in the background. Right now it’s telling me that there is “(1)” new post that I haven’t read. “(1)” website that I would have had to trawl for new content, but now I don’t.

Google Reader is like hiring someone to do all the inane click-and-scroll shit that takes up a heap of your reading time. I don’t know how I did without it.