Reading Articles Later

I read a lot of articles, and sometimes I don’t really have time at that moment to read some of the longer ones (like ones I get through NYTimes, or editorials).

I’ve tried different approaches to dealing with articles to read later, but since I have two computers, I like them to be in sync with each other. I at first tried a “read later” tag on delicious, but it didn’t work for me, as I didn’t revisit the tag later. Didn’t work at all. Then I tried the “read it later” plugin for Firefox. It just basically plopped a folder on your computer that was called “read it later” and had a web component for syncing. I didn’t really like that either.

I’ve decided on using Instapaper and Readability in conjunction with Google Chrome/ium on both Windows and Ubuntu. I use Instapaper through Shareaholic, but they have a very simple bookmarklet to save stuff to the default folder under your account. Yes, this requires an account, but I think it’s totally worth it, as you can sync articles between all your browsers, and they’re not tied to just one browser or computer.

Readability is a great bookmarklet that strips all the ads, graphics and everythign else that pulls your attention away from the text. I love it with longer articles, and some shorter articles. It doesn’t really work with an article that relies on pictures and graphs to illustrate it’s point, but it does a great job with just text. I’m not advocating killing all ads (though I use adthwart) and graphics, but sometimes you just want to read something and not be bothered by graphics and fancy CSS stuff on a website.

Both of these bookmarklets “just work”. That’s something that usually doesn’t happen, but in this case they do, and they do very well. Try it out. Next time you don’t have time to read a huge article, try out Instapaper to save it and Readability to actually read it. You’ll get through it faster than you would on the website.