social reading

April 22, 2013 by 

Reading for me is a solitary activity, I have to admit. But others like being members of reading groups and so on – and who am I to judge them?

I linked recently to an article on Gizmodo asking why ebooks are so much like paper books – in other words, why don’t they innovate with the form a bit more? Here’s three examples of sites or apps that take electronic reading in a more interesting and social direction.


Readmill is a replacement for iBooks on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. It places a heavy emphasis on good design and typography and eschews some of Apple’s silly skeuomorphic tendencies. It also enables you to highlight passages while you read, and share them with your friends and followers – and your social group also helps you to discover new books to read.


Subtext is a free iPad app that allows classroom groups to exchange ideas in the pages of digital texts. It’s designed for use in learning environments, and enables a tutor to add in quizzes and assignments too. Here’s a video to explain more:


Copia calls itself a “social ereading platform”. It allows you to make notes in the ‘margains’ of the ebook you are reading, and then to share them with friends and publish them in notebooks. It also features the ability to create reading groups, and have discussions about books which is rather neat.

Copia is available on the desktop or the Android and iOS mobile platforms.

Do you use any social reading apps or sites? Are they even necessary?


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