It looks like this was cross-posted at: http://community.tableau.com/thread/117494?start=0&tstart=0
At the beginning of our Tableau experience, we also tried utilizing Reader (we have since switched to using Tableau Server). Reader will only open the packaged workbooks, which by nature only contain data - not really the connection. You will have to repackage your files manually every time you want to distribute. At least that was the case in Tableau 7, I'm not sure if that changed in 8.