Recently, I have received an email from the Pocket app. It was quite interesting information – I’ve been a top reader in 2018, reaching the top 5% of all readers. It was really surprising for me.

Pocket top 5% badge

What is it about?

I have just wonder – what does it mean to be the top 5% reader? How many articles I have read? In my case, this means a 1.9mln of words read that the Pocket team converted to a number of 26 books. Where a book contains around 73k of words.

The 3 most popular topics were programming, productivity, and health. When it comes to the most popular articles I have read, the top 5 looks like the following:
Go Deeper, Not Wider
How to Remember and Take Action on What you Read
This Is Exactly How You Should Train Yourself To Be Smarter[Infographic]
The System I Used to Write 5 Books and Over 1,000 Blog Posts
How to Crush the Crypto Market, Quit Your Job, Move to Paradise and Do Whatever You Want the Rest of Your Life

And that’s it. These are all statistics I can get from the Pocket summary.
Because I’m deleting articles just after reading, I couldn’t reach their content and make some additional analysis.

However, I have a lot of articles to read and can analyze articles from the list. Let’s see what’s there.

Check the Pocket

Pocket connection

Pocket app iconYou can easily connect to the Pocket using the API provided or already existing OSS library for Python or Java library which makes the process even easier.

Let’s analyse a bit

Ok, so what is in my pocket at the moment?

The total number of items on my to-read list is 402, from which 380 are considered as articles. For me, it seems the article classification algorithm works surprisingly since almost all of the 22 non-article items are… articles (on Medium, for example). Only 3 of them are YouTube videos and 1 is a TED talk.

Word’s number

The total number of words from all items on the list is 755056. That number gives an average of 1878 words per single item, while the median is 1414.

The longest item in terms of words is The Vue Handbook: a thorough introduction to Vue.js with a total number of 14434 words, while the shortest one (with non-zero length) is Plugin Development Guidelines with the total of 32 words. However, the item looks like an example of an inappropriately crawled/displayed page in the Pocket – the original one contains way more text.

Listen time

The Pocket application offers a useful feature which is listening to an article read by a bot. You can read the estimated listening time for items on the list with the API as well. What are the numbers here? The total time computed for my list is 292285 seconds, which seems to be more than 81 hours of constant listening.

There should be no surprise with the longest and shortest items in this category as well. These are the same as for the number of words criteria. The longest listening, The Vue Handbook: a thorough introduction to Vue.js, is estimated for 5587 seconds. Seeing the content of the link it should be no surprise that this is the winner. On the other hand, the shortest one is estimated at 12 seconds. This is the Plugin Development Guidelines documentation for IntelliJ Idea and its reading time clearly depends on the incorrectly scraped text.


When it comes to a language of an item on the list, Pocket found 379 of them are in English and 8 are in Polish. For the remaining 15, the application could not detect the language. These appeared to be mainly articles in English (some from Medium and DZone), a single YouTube video and one article in Polish. That gives us 98% of the language detection accuracy which is not that bad.

Items per month

The question is – when did I add all these things to the list? While I am using the Pocket since 2015, it’s all about the last 13 months, as you can see on the chart below:

While 2015, 2016 and 2017 years looks like I was not using the application, 2018 is totally different. Did I open the Pandora Box at the end of 2017? And the most interesting months are December 2017 and March 2018. These two makes 1/5 of my to-read list!

It is hard to say anything about a trend here. I just hope there will be not as many new items in 2019 as in 2018. Actually, I expect the number of to-read items will be lower at the end of the year than now.

Isn’t your pocket too big?

I’m finding the Pocket app very useful. When I approach an interesting article and have no time to read it, I almost always put it to the application to read it later. And sometimes I have this 5 or 10 minutes of free time to pick up a story from the list.

However, the list is definitely too long. There is an issue though – adding a new item to it is too easy. With no discipline, it is not a problem to have hundreds or even more than a thousand items there. Maybe these 400+ elements are the warning sign? Probably, the beginning of a new year is a good time to review it and make it shorter. Yeah, and the next thing will be dealing with tabs (30+, anyone?) in my browser…

OK. That’s the summary of my Pocket. I’m really curious how will it look like after this year.

Are you using the application as well? Do you know how many items are on your list? Maybe it’s a good time for cleaning too? Cheers

Categories: varia

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