This is easily the worst news I’ve heard in ages. I’ve been an avid user since the service was introduced, and I’ve used the service to keep ahead of roughly ~60 websites on a daily basis.
For those not in the know, Reader is an RSS service. RSS feeds (short for Really Simple Syndication) are feeds of individual blog posts with minimal formatting, allowing subscribers to see them in whatever environment suits them. Most websites publish them, and I believe WordPress provides RSS feeds out of the box for bloggers.
Reader has been around for a long time, influencing everything from the keyboard shortcuts in GMail itself, to Currents. Reader itself is far less social, and efforts to make it more so haven’t been super successful. I’m going to miss it thoroughly.
P.S.: Perhaps Google should provide an easy way to transfer subscriptions to Currents?