The whys of retiring such a beloved service were answered pretty directly on the Google Reader blog back in March with
There are two simple reasons for this: usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.
When you look at it so clinically it seems like Google doesn’t see this as retiring Reader as much as euthanizing it. Dedicated Reader users still think there is plenty of life in the product but that’s pointless now.
You can still get your Reader data from Google Takeout.
So what alternatives are you looking to? What have you decided on? Feedly? Something else? Let us know.