Reservation Confirmed: A Reading List About Airbnb

Longreads

It’s easy to get distracted while reading about Airbnb. First, the listings themselves range from luxurious to quaint, and if you have any sort of upcoming vacation planned … well, let’s say it’s a timesuck. Double if you have I-want-to-see-where-you-live voyeuristic tendencies. Second, Airbnb is giving away $1 million to customers who document their random acts of kindness, which is a hell of a headline and a bit of an oxymoron. Airbnb’s detractors are firm and its fans are rabid; Its prices, tempting. I’m planning a trip to Seattle in the summer—we’ll see where I end up sleeping. Here are five pieces about Airbnb hosts, the company’s founders, its guests and its implications for city politics.

1. “The Dumbest Person in Your Building is Passing Out the Keys to Your Front Door!” (Jessica Pressler, New York Magazine, September 2013)

Two idealistic art students founded Airbnb, and business boomed once the recession…

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