Any experiences of Readwise Reader beta?

Hi team MPU
I’ve just received an invite to Readwise Reader beta and wondered what if any experiences people have had with it so far.

Short version: I’ve used read later services (Pocket then Instapaper then Matter) for many years.

Readwise Reader is simply in a different league to all of them in its breadth of functionality, bulk actions, cross-device compatibility, parsing, and ability to deal with so many different sources (save later, feeds, PDFs, news letters etc)


I’ve had it for a couple of weeks and love it so far. The interface is well-designed and works great with keyboards, and the app feels really polished.

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I also started using it a few weeks ago and am very impressed! It takes a while to adjust to but is very intuitive and full-featured.

I’m still praying for an invite! But the tutorials on YouTube looks great - sort of full-service information triage tool.

Is it possible to highlight and take notes in epub files as well as pdfs on both macOS and iOS?

Can definitely highlight PDFs. I’ve not used any epubs with it, but I’d be amazed if the highlighting didn’t work, given the tight integration with Readwise.

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I personally think the reader is good, I do read epub books using reader on my iPad mini 6. However, I rarely do highlights on epub books. Its web parser is great too

The only thing that is holding me back to drop other apps (Matter, UpNext, Goodlinks, etc) is that I still do not know I would afford it when it become a fully commercial app. I suspect that it would be cheap and the developers want us to be locked in so that it would not be easy to quit, just my conspiracy theory :joy:

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I’ve used Reader for a couple of months, and enjoy it tremendously. A recent update to the browser plugin adds the ability to highlight and annotate the web page you’re viewing, which is also added to Reader’s database. Perfect integration with Readwise supports syncing highlights and comments down to Obsidian.

Another recent update (called “Ghostreader”) adds integration with GPT-3 that produces pretty good summaries of articles (or selected paragraphs), as well as other features supported by Open AI.

The best Mac experience of Reader, IMO, is on Chrome, FWIW. The iPad version is also good.


I didn’t know anything about Reader until this post. I have now watched several videos and I’m so intrigued.

I just love the idea of being able to highlight web articles and saving that content (with something like a tag) and also having multiple sources in one place. I don’t use anything like Obsidian where some people have all this stuff go. At this point, that would be overkill for me.

A few questions for those that have used it.

a) if you send some kindle highlights to it, is it basically doing a one-time sync whereby if you added more highlights in kindle, you would have to re-sync?

b) Do you sync kindle books individually? We have a shared Amazon account and I obviously don’t want other people’s books getting synced

c) if you upload a pdf, is it put on their servers somewhere?

I’m really enjoying it! I’m experimenting more with it pulling in all my feeds so it’s acting as my read-it-later service but also as my RSS reader/saving app. I already pay for a subscription for them because of the highlight syncing, so this could allow me to cancel some other services I have.

I find both their site and app quick, and it’s clear they are making it better as they go.

Highly recommend!

If you re-sync, it will pull in the new highlights. It’s not one-and-done with any of the sources, at least based on my Kindle syncing.

We have separate accounts for this very reason (Amazon makes that VERY easy these days). I don’t recall ever seeing a setting in their interface for a per-book syncing option, sadly.

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Love it for taking annotations in all my kindle books that automatically sync to Obsidian. I did have to convert them to epub format but doable using Calibre.

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Is this defined as a profile, or something else in Amazon?

Thanks all for your comments and thoughts. Intriguing indeed – and clearly very positive. My hesitation is about creating a fire hose of input (automated) into obsidian. I work hard to do that work by hand – so that my vault grows quiteslowly and deliberately. So, getting the balance right between some small automation features and this more ‘tending a garden’ approach is where it’s at for me. Think I might gently step in and take a look though.

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I’ve been dabbling with Readwise since yesterday and it’s funny to read about Readwise Reader but being ‘restricted’ with regular Readwise. I signed up for the beta and crossing my fingers I’ll get access to it sooner than later. (I worry it won’t be.)

I found this but haven’t yet tried it.

I only allow readwise reader to import my annotations. So by definition I’ve already curated what is coming in because I read it and decided it was important enough to annotate something, highlights and notes.

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Keep in mind that there is a difference between the Readwise that talks to Amazon and the new Readwise reader app that works from the epub files you import to it.

I do not let Readwise connect to my Amazon account or sync my kindle highlights at all.

I use the readwise Reader app instead so I have more control over it.

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I’m also greatly enjoying Readwise Reader. I’m accessing it on my Mac via the Arc browser and have dedicated a space to Reader, which is working very well. I also like the iPhone and iPad Reader apps.

Prior to Reader, I’d been sending all my RSS feeds to DEVONThink. This had the advantage of every post being searchable, but the reading experience in DT left something to be desired.

Now that I have Reader, I’ve moved almost all my RSS feeds there, keeping only about 3 in DEVONThink because I do regularly search their complete content. In Reader, I highlight anything I want to save. Overall, it’s much more efficient as well as a much better reading experience.

As far as their pricing model, I guess I’m assuming that because I am already paying for Readwise, I’ll get Reader “for free.” Naive? Perhaps.

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