I love connecting all of my reading sources together, which is what led me to buy a tablet a few years ago. It is always pleasant to be able to access ebooks, check out RSS feeds and read articles in the same place, and in a single format. Which is a luxury you can have on your browser, as well.
For anyone who uses Firefox, it is even simpler to get there benefits for your desktop. There are a ton of extensions that have been created to help you focus on reading, whether that is books, articles, websites or blogs. Some even have compatibility with transcripts taken from videos.
Trying to decide which extensions are the best is difficult, because there is such a wealth of choice. But I would have to say these are the ones I have personally used and found truly useful.
This extension is presented for both Firefox and Chrome, but both work exactly the same way. It creates a news page where you read articles from an RSS feed without any additional distractions.
There is no odd formatting or layouts, no non-related photos, no ads and no extra links blinking for your attention. It is similar to reading a newspaper, without the usual marketing ploys screaming at you on the web. It is usually considered a readability app, as it is sparse on features. But if you want something ultra-basic and functional, you should be happy with this one.
A lot of people have been turning to Feedly lately as their primary RSS reader. It has a stylish interface, is highly customizable and is always being updated with new improvements, so it isn’t surprising that it rates so highly.
It connects YouTube, Tumblr and RSS feeds from anywhere you have subscribed. Then it curates it into a single page with full color categories, scrollable articles and more. I would say it is one of the more attractive readers out there, and usually the first one recommended by users.
The most difficult reading extension to find is probably the one that reads ebooks. Especially in the ePub format, as extensions usually aren’t made for that purpose thanks to copyright paranoia by developers. But this is a great one, with a simple and clean interface and clear lettering. You don’t need any additional software, and you can get ePub files from anywhere. It gives you the chapter lists in the sidebar, as well, which is a real benefit.
A great feed organizer, this takes RSS and Atom feeds and curates them into a single program. You can quickly sift through the content using the side bar, or just check out what is currently on the front page that has been customized with your subscriptions. This is another very basic one, and is considered a ‘lightweight’ option for people who just want the standard features without the extras that can be cool, but usually unecessary.
Simple RSS Reader
I have heard mixed reviews for this one, and I can see why. There is very little to it, and the name speaks to exactly what ti is: a simple RSS reader. It is functional enough, but more sparse than most. Mostly, people use this one on computers that don’t hold updated apps well and so need something that won’t lock up their browser.
Make an ePub file using different content you pull from all around the web, then put it onto your ereader. This one isn’t for reading in your browser, but it is still a cool little program that you could definitely enjoy. You can even edit the format, delete content or add more where you want to. So it is simple enough to customize your ‘ebook’ before putting it onto your device.
Do you have any cool extensions for Firefox that you use for your reading? Let us know in the comments!