The generally accepted wisdom is that characters per line shouldn't exceed 65.
Quite, and no one is disputing that! Another related guideline seems to be that reading material dominated by text usually works better in "portrait" shape, about 3:4. Only picture books favor "landscape". Both Readability and Reader also wisely give this portrait format.
So to elaborate on my previous comment, one solution is to narrow your browser window to have the main text region in a roughly 3:4 portrait shape (so about square overall?), which seems to be what this site is designed for: that will reflow the text of LuLa articles closer to that 65 character ideal.
Also, on serifs, I agree with both previous posters:
- I look forward to the day when we can move beyond sans serif fonts like Helvetica (Apple's favorite) and Arial (Microsoft's response), which should be relegated to signage.
- This needs screen resolution to increase, to what Apple has dubbed "Retina" resolution levels, about 3000 pixels per viewing distance.
- This seems to be coming, with the 2048x1536 screen of the 2012 iPad a harbinger of 3K or 4K displays coming soon to many desktops.
EDIT: maybe serif fonts do not need so much resolution: I just realized that Reader on my iPad 2 uses a serif font (Palatino?), and it works well even with this mere 1024x768 display. So maybe those simple, chunky sans serif fonts on websites are a hangover from VGA display resolution?