Brain Pickings Newsletter

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Brain Pickings newsletter is issued weekly by essayist Maria Popova. This newsletter revolves around arts, literature, culture, science and also, philosophy. This email newsletter was first published in 2006 and since then it has become one of the most influential newsletters of all time.


  • Brain Pickings newsletter offers insightful and thought-provoking reading, with unique perspectives on literature, arts, and science.
  • Additionally, no one is better qualified than the writer of this newsletter, Maria Popova, in her field. She's been writing for over 16 years on arts and literature topics. Her works were featured in The New York Times, Wired, and The Atlantic.
  • Unlike other publications, Brain Pickings newsletter does not require any payment to access its high quality content.


  • Brain Pickings is a niche specific newsletter which may not be appealing to all.
  • Further, this newsletter sometimes cuts short depending on the email program. One needs to go to the website to read it fully.

What is Brain Pickings Newsletter about? 

Brain Pickings newsletter is all about arts, culture, science and philosophy. To put it short: It feeds imagination.

This email newsletter was first published in 2006 by Maria Popova, and since then it has become one of the most influential newsletters of all time. 

Brain Pickings is also included in the Library of Congress permanent web archive of culturally valuable materials. In 2021, Brain Pickings was renamed to “The Marginalian” on its 15th birthday.

The newsletter structure of Brain Pickings Newsletter

Brain Pickings newsletter is structured in a pro-minimalistic way which makes it user friendly, and also makes its content a lot more engaging. It also uses a lot of visuals, paintings and sketches that makes it so much interesting and eye pleasing.

Brain Pickings newsletter has a free Sunday digest of the week’s most mind-broadening and thought provoking reflections spanning art, science, poetry, philosophy, and more.

The newsletter is systematically divided into:

  • home,
  • about, and 
  • contact page.

One can use the search bar on the drop down menu to read any specific article.

Is it free or paid? 

Brain Pickings puts emphasis on classical literature. It stands out for its vibrant and distinctive content that appeals to readers of all ages.

And the best of this newsletter is that it's free. Although, one can donate on the donate page to support the author.

My Honest Review of Brain Pickings Newsletter 

In this age of social media when short videos and so-called quotes are more popular, Brain Pickings definitely is an exception.

Contrary to many other arts and literature publications it doesn't waste your time with poorly written content. When I got to know about this newsletter I was like, “Hot damn! Why didn't I find it earlier?”

Brain Pickings, now known as “The Marginalian,” is like the connective tissue that binds all the classical arts literature together. Her essays are concise and well thought out; easy to understand even for those who know nothing about literature.

Some of my favorite posts on Brain Pickings newsletter are: “Kahlil Gibran on Silence, Solitude, and the Courage to Know Yourself,” and “Hannah Arendt on Love and How to Live with the Fundamental Fear of Loss.” Try these two if Brain Pickings is not a familiar name to you.

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