The Demise of Readmill

The best app for read­ing books is being shut down. Read­mill allowed for read­ing of DRM-free as well as Adobe and Google DRM titles on mobile apps for iOS and Android. The read­ing expe­ri­ence was crisp and clear; the app also allowed for social and shared read­ing and annotations.

When Ama­zon bought the bet­ter known GoodReads, Craig Mod wrote an inter­est­ing piece at Paid Con­tent enti­tled “The deal Goodreads should’ve struck (hint: it wasn’t with Ama­zon)”:

In my dream team, fan­tasy pub­lish­ing startup league, I would have had Goodreads buy Read­mill. Here are two star­tups with sim­i­larly over­lap­ping prob­lems. I under­stand why Ama­zon bought Goodreads, and why Goodreads sold itself to Ama­zon. But as a reader and lover of com­pe­ti­tion in the world of pub­lish­ing, there is a com­pelling alter­na­tive uni­verse in which a Goodreads plus Read­mill com­bi­na­tion offered us all a unique alter­na­tive to Amazon.”

Now, Read­mill has come to its Epi­logue. The Read­mill team will be join­ing Drop­box, pre­sum­ably to enable read­ing of e-books stored there, but … they are not tak­ing the Read­mill app and website.

The web­site is no longer allow­ing peo­ple to cre­ate accounts as of today, and it will shut down com­pletely, as will the avail­abil­ity of the mobile apps, on July 1, 2014.

This is a sad day for inde­pen­dent read­ers. E-books are dom­i­nated by Ama­zon, with Apple, Google, and Adobe sweep­ing up most of the remain­der. It was an impor­tant part of the e-book ecosys­tem to have a sep­a­rate (and in many ways bet­ter and cleaner) app from the dom­i­nant Ama­zon, Apple, Google, and Adobe offer­ings. Hope­fully, Drop­box will build the Read­mill tech­nol­ogy into Drop­box and pro­vide a non-content com­pany way to store and read our geneal­ogy and his­tory e-books.

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