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.