For business purposes, I read a lot of blogs. Every Friday I put together a summary of what's happening in my company's industry and send it to my organization's leaders so that they can make business decisions based on what's happening not only in the board room, but in the real world as well. This is a fairly mundane task that all PR people learn to do straight away, but my executives find the content informative and helpful to their jobs, especially as they don't take the time to read the news themselves unless it's packaged up in such a manner. For professional reasons, I have over 70 blogs, websites, and news organizations pushing content to my Google Reader.
Personally, I use Google Reader to keep on top of what's happening with my favorite blogs across a variety of topics - home decor/remodeling, celebrity gossip, travel, real estate, food/cooking. In these categories I have well over 200 different feeds. Not every site pushes content everyday - heck some don't publish anything new for weeks at a time. It's manageable because I can keep everything categorized and I can skim post titles, deciding what to read and what not to read. And if I ever feel like anything is too overwhelming, the handy dandy "mark all as read" button is a wonder.
A couple of years ago, Google changed its Reader service to remove the social functions that had previously been embedded into the product. You could no longer comment on an article and share it with your friends. Some of my best online conversations have taken place on Google Reader: debates about politics, discussions about the next great things coming out of the culinary world, and many other topics. All that great functionality went away in October 2011 (presumably because Google couldn't figure out a way to monetize it), but from those social conversations I've become friends with many of my friends' friends, and those relationships have extended to Google+ and Twitter.
Now, though, as I'm sure you've heard by now, Google is killing Google Reader for good. According to sites like Mashable, and posts all over the Twitters, there are a couple of Reader alternatives, but so far nothing that perfectly replicates what Google Reader used to be. Right now, I'd gladly give up the social aspect, if I could just keep the damn aggregation aspect since I NEED IT. I really can't imagine having to visit 70 blogs a week for work. And my personal blog consumption would plummet if I didn't have the basic Reader functionality available to me.
I tried signing up for a service called The Old Reader, but its servers are being inundated and I got an error message. As a backup to that, I signed up for Feedly, and transferred over all of my Google information in one easy click. So far I've only used it briefly, and it's quite different than what I'm used to seeing, but I think I'll be able to keep on using it. So yeah, if you're looking for a Google Reader alternative, give Feedly a shot. I'm curious to hear what you think.