What’s the difference between Safari ‘Reading Lists’ and bookmarks?

Reading List Icon

Safari 5 for Lion introduced ‘Reading List’ allowing users to bookmark stories and links for reading later. Since I wrote my article about the best features of Lion, a reader asked a very good question ‘What’s the difference between ‘Reading List’ and a bookmark? It doesn’t seem to cache it for offline viewing. What am I missing?’

This is a very good point. There isn’t much difference between a bookmark and bookmarking a link into your Reading List. What Apple has tried to do is give users a dedicated space where they can keep a list of links to read when they have the time to read them. Adding a link to your Reading List will place that link in the ‘unread’ category of your Reading List, The link will stay in your Reading List tray until you have read it, Once you have read the page it will be removed from the ‘unread’ category but will remain bookmarked under the ‘all’ category until you decide to delete it.

Reading List will become a complete on the road bookmarking solution when Apple release iOS 5 which will bring Reading List to the iPhone and iPad. This will allow you to keep your Reading List in sync across all your devices. For people who read a lot of online news this will become invaluable.

What I would say to readers is you should consider Reading List as a category based bookmarking solution designed specifically for ‘The things I want to read later’.

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About the author


I've been a passionate evangelist for Apple and the Macintosh throughout my working life, my first love was a Quadra 605 working with a small creative agency in the south of Norfolk UK in the mid 1990's, I later progressed to other roles in other Macintosh dominated industries, first as a Senior graphic designer at a small printing company and then a production manager at Guardian Media Group. As the publishing and printing sector wained I moved into Internet Marketing and in 2006 co-founded blurtit.com which grew to become one the top 200 visited sites in the US (according to Quantcast), at its peak receiving over 15 million visits per month. For the last ten years I have worked as an Affiliate and Consultant to many different business and start ups, my key skill set being online marketing, on page monetisation, landing page optimisation and traffic generation, if you would like to hire me or discuss your current project please reach out to me here.

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  • I love the reading list. Sometimes i go on a wikipedia/forum jag and keep opening new tabs, then dont have time to read them. It also takes up memory. now i can add them to the reading list, which is easier than adding them to bookmarks, where I forget about them, and end up with a bunch of irrelevant bookmarks after I have read the page. the reading list is easier to delete as soon as I am done.

  • The people who commented before you already explained why. So did the article, hence its title.