10 Apps & Sites That Bring Back the Joy of Reading

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1. Clearly

Evernote, the Mountain View, CA-based online note-keeping startup, introduced Clearly in November. It’s a browser plugin—currently available only for Google’s Chrome browser, but coming soon to other browsers—that reformats any Web page for easy reading in one click. It removes all ads, navigation, and graphics, leaving just the text (including links). You can customize the Clearly page’s typeface, font size, and the background color, and there’s a button that lets you save the stripped-down content directly to your Evernote account.

At the moment, that Evernote button is the only big feature that differentiates Clearly from other browser-based reading tools. But Evernote CEO Phil Libin tells me that the product will evolve fast. “The goal of Clearly is not to get rid of things, it’s to make things clearer—to make a beautiful long-form reading experience and increase your comprehension of what you’re reading,” he says. “The first step of that is to take away the distractions that take away from comprehension. The next step is to add, in a way that doesn’t get in the way, things that will help with comprehension, like related information, definitions, and other things”—possibly including links to related information you’ve stored in Evernote.

(By the way, I’ll be interviewing Libin on stage next week at our Xconomy Xchange event, “The 100 Year Company: An Evening with Evernote, Morgenthaler, and Sequoia.”)

Next app: Instapaper.

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Wade Roush is the producer and host of the podcast Soonish and a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @soonishpodcast

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  • Joy, clarity and excitement I thank you to make me feel
    Reading deep within your verses disguised in sentences
    Trembling I can still feel the tremors and the aftershocks
    So intense yet recomforting to assure metaphoric guidance
    Testimony the Light is bright today and reflects the entrance
    Of an enchanted future opening the pathway to the existence
    Of man life on Earth the universal wonder of Love and romance
    Fortunate I will be to capture its metaphysical awe of significance
    Free of worry I am pushing away the darkest faces of Life sentences
    Hunger, thirst, loneliness only were the blur of the abusive obstinence
    But not another word about this as it time to rise again always in advance
    Aware we are all connected to a magnetic power of each other audiences
    Clearing off the air of a sweet home protected with electronic clairevoyance..