Glose's social ebook reader released for Android

Martin Brinkmann
May 29, 2015

When I compare how I read non-fictional books to fictional ones, I come to the conclusion that I read them in a different way.

I like to read fictional books from start to finish without distractions or spoilers, and avoid this as good as possible until I finish reading the book or series.

For non-fictional books, I find myself using the Internet quite often to look up additional information. If it is a programming book for instance, I might browse errata on the publisher website, search for answers online for instructions or information that are not clear, or simply look up other code examples or methods to improve my understanding.

Glose, a social ebook reader and shop, tries to bring the best of two worlds together by adding social annotations to ebooks.

When you first join Glose you are asked to pick books and areas of interest. You do get 10 free ebooks then added to your account, and may add other free or paid books as well. The books that are added to your account seem to be classics mostly that you get for free in other places as well.

I got The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper, The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, and other classics added to my account.

The feature that sets Glose apart is that it supports annotations. Since you may not always want annotations, for instance if you are like me and prefer reading books without distractions, then you can easily switch them to "me" or "friends" which limits them to your own annotations or those by close friends.

Annotations are displayed as bubbles next to the text you are reading. You may tap on them any time to read them. Doing so opens them on a new page which breaks the reading flow as you will find yourself switching between the actual book and the annotations frequently if you make use of the feature.

The usefulness of the feature depends a lot on the quality of annotations, and it is mixed as you can imagine especially when you are reading free books. The experience can be totally different however when you are reading non-fictional books that are not free as the quality of annotations goes up as the overall number of annotations goes down.

Still, unless friends, co-workers or other people you trust join and read the same books you do, you may end up blocking annotations more often than not as you cannot control the quality and don't get a preview either. One thing that would be quite useful but is not available is a block or blacklist feature as you may want to exclude annotations from some users who you don't agree with or who don't add anything of substance.


The idea to add social to books is certainly an interesting one. Especially the annotation feature needs to be mentioned here and while it requires improvement, some may find it useful.

I can see it work well for classes or project teams, but the global approach is not working for me for a couple of reasons. First, while some annotations may be useful, you always have to flip to the annotations page to read them which breaks the reading flow. Then, annotations may be anything from book quotes to unrelated comments. Last but not least, you don't know anything about the users who leave the annotations.

A rating system of sorts for annotations could improve this so that you could set a threshold for annotations to filter out users who post lowly rated ones more often than not.

Glose's social ebook reader released for Android
Article Name
Glose's social ebook reader released for Android
Glose introduces social features to its ebook reader and store. Users may add annotations to books they read .

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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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