Berlin’s Readmill pushes social reading to get an edge on the crowd

Charmaine Li 2013-12-11 0

In a bid to strengthen its community and position itself as more than just an eBook reader, Berlin-based Readmill has released a new update promoting book discussion and discovery.

“While our ‘community highlights view’ makes for an instant book club in every book, your ‘feed’ is a library reading room, where you can peek over the shoulders of friends and catch glimpses of books you wouldn’t find otherwise,” said Readmill cofounder and CEO Henrik Berggren on the latest update, which is available for iOS. “Each time you visit the feed, you’ll find the latest highlights, reviews and discussions from your favourite readers.”

The news comes hot on the heels of a partnership deal with Penguin UK, which lets customers send eBook purchases directly to their Readmill libraries.

But it’s not the only eReader attempting to differentiate itself through social features. Earlier this year, Amazon acquired personal book recommendations site Goodreads with hopes to ”build many new ways to delight readers and authors” together. In October, Berlin-based eReading app Txtr launched “Txtr Feed”, which also offers a more interactive approach to reading by allowing users to follow each other and discover new books.

The biggest difference between the two Berlin-based eReading apps seems to be, unsurprisingly, design. Readmill’s laser-focus on this aspect of the reading experience is evident in its typography and layout of the feed, which resembles an elegant magazine as opposed to Txtr’s Tumblr-esque format.

Founded by Berggren and David Kjelkerud, Readmill has remained relatively quiet about funding since announcing an undisclosed Series A round in June 2012 led by Wellington Partners alongside Index Ventures and Passion Capital. Txtr founder Christophe Maire is also an investor in Readmill.

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