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.