The poll I ran came in with 'narrow' as the favourite for text column width.
I wasn't surprised, as I've always taken the idea that newspapers were onto something — around the twelve word mark and the eyes/brain needs to stop and go to another line.
That's why sites which have text running the full width of a screen wear the eyes out (unless your eyes are already worn out, or it's a mobile screen).
Guru Jakob says:
Readability: How easy is it to read the text in various columns, given their allocated width?And talks a lot about scrolling. Which is increasingly prevalent user behaviour.
Resizability is the key, meaning fluid design.
As for the content, Jakob was talking about 'Inverted Pyramids in Cyberspace' in '96. Again, something newspapers have always done.
The more things change ....