Vital Browser Addition: Readability

Short version: Go there, read about Readability, set it up, and browse happily ever after.

Longer version: Readability chops away all the overdesigned Webbish crap around the text you want to read, reformats it in a single block, and lets you read without distractions.

My configuration:

  • Style: Novel
  • Size: Large
  • Margin: Narrow

I put it as the top bookmark in the sidebar, where I hit it rather often.

It also works well for printing: articles now print quite legibly in four-up mode, which saves a ton o’ paper.

Bonus: you can even print those pesky blogs that don’t print in Firefox.

Minor disadvantage: if you want to print a whole article, you must get all the text on a single page. Some blogs / news outlets don’t let you do that, for reasons that should be obvious when you consider how nice Readability is.

Just do it.

You should, of course, be using the Firefox Adblock Plus Add-On to quiet your browsing even more. There used to be an ethical question about using ad-supported sites while running ad-blocking software, but that seems to have died out with the advent of pop-up/pop-under ads, animated GIFs, and relentless Flash junk.