Readability and those pesky paywalls

There are ways around most paywalls

Two years ago, when the New York Times instituted their paywall, I wrote about several ways to get around paywalls. I know it sounds a bit unscrupulous, but if  you aren’t a devoted reader of any one website you probably don’t want to pay for a subscription. Even if you browse a lot of different sources, you’re likely to encounter a paywall at some point.

There are ways around most paywalls if you are just dying to read that one special article. Among those widely reported:

1. Go into your browser’s cookies and delete all the cookies for that website; also clear your browser’s cache.

2. Copy the article’s title and do a search for it on Google. Click on the Google link back to the story.

3. Switch to a different browser where you haven’t yet hit your monthly limit for that website.

However, last night I stumbled onto a new one, and a handy website to boot:

Copy the article’s URL and paste it into the box at Readability.com. Click “Shorten & Read” and then, below it, “Read Now.” You’ll see the full story, imported in a handsome, highly readable format, free of all the surrounding content (including comments, unfortunately). If you want to read the story on its original site, there’s a link (“original”) at the top of the story.

If all else fails, try browsing in incognito mode.


Note — Nov. 27, 2016: The Readability.com service shut down several months ago.



Categories: Internet, print

9 replies

  1. Good sleuthing, PT! Have run head-first into those walls a few times and abandoned the article, but now am eager to try out your aids. I can understand and support payment for services rendered, but not for simply wanting to read one isolated news story or article. Thanks for the intel– 🙂

  2. Pretty much mirror Karen’s response on this one although if it is an article regarding national interest I can usually chase it down in some other newspaper similar to what you suggested in #2 on your post. In most of my cases I am just trying to secure a ‘link’ for reference but I want to know that I can go back to it at a later date and/or share it and that it will still connect to my subject matter!

    • Paywalls don’t apply to incoming links. That’s why the Google thing usually works. If you include a link in one of your posts, readers who use that link to get to the story will not face a paywall.

  3. Dang girl, you are full of handy dandy little tips. I had no idea you could do something like this.Thanks.

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