Add the Instapaper button to your browser’s toolbar. Then, every time you see a webpage you’d like to read later, click the “Read Later” button. Instapaper will automagically save it to your account in a format that preserves the text and some of the images.
You can even download your collected Instapaper articles in Kindle, ePub or easy printable formats. I have yet to take advantage of any of those, since I’d still have to drag the .mobi output to the Kindle, which means I’d need to plug it in, and since the USB cable only lives at my apartment, etc, etc.
That (to me) is not the best functionality. The best functionality is letting me read an article without dealing with shitty layout.
Gone are the days of a three-inch column surrounded by banner ads, skyscraper ads and unrolling GIFs. No more are those wasted years, clicking between pages of an online article in order to give a publisher more advertising impressions.* Now I just get pure, uncut content in one easy location.
Google Reader has provided me this functionality for years – thanks, Google! – but I had to subscribe to a feed first. If I don’t want to read every single “Politics” article on RollingStone.com (shocking, right?), I can just wait for FB/Twitter to recommend me the good ones.
So keep recommending, social mediacs! I’ve got something to read now.
* I’m aware of the irony of someone who traffics banner ads for a living complaining about banner ads. You never have to ask if I’m aware of the irony. Besides, you don’t expect sanitation engineers to bring leftovers home with them.