3 interesting social reading sites

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?

2 thoughts on “3 interesting social reading sites”

  1. At university I used to get out history books and the set texts and chapters were scribbled on, words or sentences underlined. Then we used to go to seminars and there were many people saying the same things about those set texts i.e. students never read the actual words of the authors but the comments around them!

    That said, I’m all for “social reading” apps as it were – as long as it didn’t take away from talking about books in person (or perhaps even via google hangout).

    We’re in a world where babies are playing ipads long before they’re learning to hold a pencil or actually write – or even probably speak – so if this encourages engagement and actual learning then I’m all for it.

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