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Lines should be between 50 and 70 characters for optimal readability. Longer lines take longer to read because you increase the time you spend seeking the beginning of the next line. You can increase line height to compensate, but the seek time improvement is small and the information density decrease is large, and it looks pretty terrible. Columns would be a great solution, but HTML/CSS’s tooling for it has a lot of integration and polish issues, so doing it in a way that’s actually better than the strip is a lot of work.

Arguably, though, a website that’s surrendered to the strip should make some compromise between line length readability and reducing scrolling.

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