Google Reader Backup Viewer — Zombie Reader

A couple of days back, when Google Reader was very much alive, I shared how you can take a complete backup of all your feeds which will include posts on your computer. This is extremely useful if you have used reader as an archive of what you read and it was very good at it. It was the only tool which kept the backup of post data for years.

This tool, Reader is Dead,  uses python and scripts to download the data and now it has an offline reader which is sarcastically named as Zombie Reader which brings back the corpse of the data alive so you can browse the archived data.

Well, basically it gives a UI for the data you had backed up. So if you already did, here is the command you need to execute.

bin/zombie_reader ~/Downloads/reader_archive

The archive browser is available at http://localhost:8074/ with almost the same kind of interface which Google Reader had before its depart. It uses the Reader’s JavaScript and CSS, locally, and hence should behave almost exactly like Reader.

Google Reader Zombie

You can select your subscriptions to read articles inside it, access all the folder and tags you created. The only change is the Home Page which now display stats about your archive.  Below is a video demo of how it will look like:

In case you did not take the backup, it is not possible any more as the access to your Google Reader account is disabled and the only option is pull out list of your subscription as a OPML file and import it into another services such as Feedly (Web) or Feed Demon (Desktop)

Just if you have confusion with using this tool, head to where all tools and commands with example are listed. All you will need is to copy and paste on the python prompt to execute it and get going.

I really wish this tool can also come with an option where one can import the feed and read the data. I am sure it will take more effort but since it has the same user interface, many would like to use it.


  1. Hey Ashish,
    Thanks for the brilliant post. Is Zombie Reader able to remove the feeds that we don’t want to keep? If yes then how?


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