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And then there's Reading Lists, a feature introduced by Lion that lets you bookmark stories for later reading. Why not use a bookmark? We'll choose Bookmarks and then Add to Reading List, and you see we a get a little icon that pops over here where these eyeglasses are and that's our Reading List. So the page you're now looking at is put into this Reading List and then you can return to it later to read the story. Let's do that with a couple of other things. Macworld, Bookmarks > Add to Reading List, and we'll go over to Apple's site, and we will also add that to the Reading List.
Now I click on the Reading List to hide it again and let's say later in the afternoon I want to revisit one of these sites, and the story on it. I click on the story, hide the Reading List, and then I can go ahead and read that page that I have put into my Reading List. Now note that this is not the same as using something like Instapaper for example, where you can read the story offline. You have to be connected to the Internet for this to work. If I did not have an Internet connection I wouldn't be able to read these stories because Safari isn't caching the stories but rather it's simply creating these links and bookmarks to it that I can later pull up.
However, one thing I can do is I can show all my stories or I can show just those stories that are unread. So I've gone through the page. Fascinating, so glad that I've been here. I'll go to Wikipedia, I'll go back to my Reading List, show Unread and it shows those pages that I've gone from top to bottom to are now considered read and so they're taken off that list. I can also Clear All and get rid of all the stories that are in my Reading List.
So is this really just a glorified bookmark? Well it's not entirely. There are few advantages. First of all, when iCloud ships, and it isn't shipping as I record this, then anything you would add to your Reading List will be available to any other iOS device or computer that's running Safari if you have an iCloud account. So the syncing bit is good. If I've added stuff to my Reading List on my Mac and later I'm working on my iPad or I want to read something that I've added to my Reading List on my Mac, I can easily do that because it's automatically synced between the two devices.
And of course, as I mentioned, you can keep track of what you have and haven't read, plus you get a nice icon and a little blurb about whatever it is that you want to read, right there in the list. Now I've mentioned that you can clear all if you want, but you can also clear individual pages from here. All you have to do is hover over the page, click the X, and that's gone out of your Reading List. Reading Lists can be a helpful feature if your Mac is connected to the Internet and unlike with the bookmark you can get a better idea of what you have and haven't read.
Still it's no threat to dedicated offline reader such as Instapaper or Read It Later.
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