Arc90's Readability experiment is setting out to change this. Readability is a small bookmarklet that extracts the text from almost any web site and displays it on an easy to read page that removes all of the clutter that can make reading on the Internet so hard sometimes.While reading is one of the main activities on the Internet, a lot of sites pay very little attention to the readability of their text. Instead, the reader's eye is constantly drawn to other UI elements, ads, and widgets.
Installing Readability is easy - all you have to do is select your favorite settings for style (newspaper, novel, eBook, or Terminal), size (small to extra large) and margin (narrow to extra wide). After that, you simply drag and drop a link to your bookmarks. To activate Readability on any page, you simply click the bookmark.
Readability doesn't work on every site, but we tested it on most popular news sites and blogs, and it worked almost everywhere. Most of the time, Readability will also display comments when you are reading a blog post. While it displays most images, however, the bookmarklet sadly deletes every embedded video.
What About Those Ads?
Removing the clutter, of course, also means removing the advertising that a lot of sites need to run to make a living. For sites that rely on click-through ads, Readability is just about as bad as AdBlock Plus (or the more anarchic Add-Art), but sites that get paid per ad impression probably won't care too much about this, as the regular page still has to be loaded before you can activate the Readability bookmarklet.
Instapaper, which Arc90 credits as an inspiration, of course, also has a text-only reading mode for saved pages, but its focus is less on making the text readable and more on saving a copy of the page. Unlike Readability, Instapaper also doesn't display any of the images embedded in a text.