Bookish apps

Seeing as we are living in the digital age and reading is becoming increasingly less tangible, I thought it would be cool to do a bit of a “What’s on my phone?” bookish apps edition!

So here we have the Books folder on my phone:

photo

I love how blue they all are! (Yes, this image was taken at 2:05am. What of it?)

  • Goodreads: So this is an obvious one. I think we can all agree the GR app is pretty poor. It’s awkward and lacking a lot of the features from the website but, since I have a Goodreads account and that’s how I choose to record my reading and the community I choose to interact with, it makes sense to have the app. And, to be fair, I use it frequently; mostly for updating my page progress which is extra insurance in case my bookmark falls out. I just discovered the free ebooks on Goodreads so I’ve been using that recently.
  •  Kindle: I haven’t used this app in yoinks(!). Not since I stopped using Amazon about a year or so ago now. I don’t think I ever actually bought anything through it, but I had one or two free books on it (I read a lot of classics which are often free because they’re old enough to be in the public domain). I think Kindle is the app that allows you to highlight quotes that fall across more than one page, which I liked.
  • Nook: I use this one pretty regularly. Like I said, I read a lot of classics which tend to be free because most are in the public domain. I like it. It isn’t connected to the Nook store though, so I’ll tend to get the books via my computer and read them later on the app. It comes with a random assortment of free books (I got Georgiana Darcy’s Diary and The One You Love?...neither of which I will probably read).
  • Kobo: I use it similarly to Nook, but less much regularly. I really like it because I think it’s sort of cute (it gives you cute reward badges for all sorts of random things: reading at certain times, reading a certain amount, reading a certain length book, taking advantage of the app’s functions, etc). However, as with Nook, you can’t get books straight from the app and it can be a little glitchy. More than once I’ve been trying to highlight something (which can be awkward in Kobo) and it has unexpectedly quit on me. It’s like it can’t take the pressure. It’s okay, Kobo. You still look cute! ;*
  • Overdrive: Free audiobooks! I just use overdrive to listen to audiobooks from my library, though I have heard it can be used for ebooks too. The interface is kind of ugly and a little clunky maybe, but it’ll do. Set up was a bit confusing and I have found bookmarking a bit faffy, but I may just be a doof.
  • Leeds Library: My library’s app! I…forget why I have this on here. I can check my library catalogue through Overdrive so it can’t be that. I think I downloaded this when I was trying to figure out Overdrive because I thought I needed to (I didn’t). I’ll have to look around and see if I can actually put this to any use…hah
  • WordWeb: Digital dictionary! Although all my reading apps have built-in dictionaries, I don’t have a physical dictionary in my house (which is shocking since I used to sort of collect them…I love dictionaries!). This is for when I’m reading a physical book and I need to look up a word.
  • Bluefire: The most recent addition. I added Bluefire so I can download and read .acsm (Adobe Content Server Manager) ebook files (like the ones from Net Galley). I haven’t had much chance to really explore this app yet, but it seems like your bog standard reader. It’s okay but maybe not noteworthy. It comes with a free book (I got Treasure Island) and it looks like you can get more books (via freebooks) while in the app. Handy.

Sometimes I shift between a preference for Nook or Kobo depending on which ones have which books, but I definitely find myself using certain apps way more than others (Goodreads, Nook and Overdrive are solid regulars). Still, they all have their uses.

What are your favourite reading apps? Do you use any of the ones I use?

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19 Responses to Bookish apps

  1. Pingback: Weekly Recap| Apr 5-11, 2015 | Oh, the Books!

  2. Annie says:

    I had never thought of using the progress feature in Goodreads as a back up bookmark! That’s a great idea.

    The thing I love about this post is that it highlights something I’ve been meaning to discuss on my own blog for a while about the impact of readers using devices with multiple book apps (kindle, kobo, nook) instead of a dedicated device (like an actual Kindle). There’s so much versatility in the apps people see and how and where they access books, it’s interesting to hear from different people what they like and why 🙂

  3. I use the GoodReads app mostly; it’s been very handy when I’m in the bookstore and I come across a novel I want to add to my wishlist. I don’t read on my mobile or iPods, though I did recently start using the iBooks app because I got Casino Royale from iTunes recently; I haven’t used that app much so far but I didn’t have any problems when I was using it. I don’t use the Kobo app though I do have the desktop program (as my eReader is a Kobo) but I find the overall program a little glitchy and slow =S I haven’t used it in a while, but I wonder if they fixed any of those problems since…

    • Nicole says:

      I’ve never heard of Casino Royale; what is it?? How does it relate to iBooks?? :0
      I’ve never actually used iBooks now that I think about it. Hmmm….

      Yeah, like I said: Kobo’s app is super cute, but I have found it a little glitchy too so it’s not my primary app. That said, it’s never been so bad that I’ve quit a book or anything. I just don’t bother highlighting as much as I normally might…hah :’D

      • Oops, I should’ve clarified that a bit further: I got the book Casino Royale by Ian Fleming for free recently on iBooks (it was part of some promotion for the collection being available on iTunes or something–good timing too because I’ve been meaning to read the James Bond books for ages, haha) so that prompted me to use their iBooks app on my iPod 🙂

        Ahh, the highlighter option, it’s so handy 🙂

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  5. I only use the Goodreads app (and Literally), because I don’t use my mobile phone as reading device. I wish I could listen to audio books; overdrive sounds handy for free audio books 🙂

    • Claire (BWB) says:

      I only use GR as well… never thought of using literally

    • Nicole says:

      If I had a dedicated reader or tablet I’d might read digital stuff on that when I’m out and about, but I don’t really have any reason (that is convincing enough for me) to get one so my phone is pretty handy. In truth, I do use my phone more for audiobooks than ebooks. And that is definitely more handy to have a phone for if I’m not at home than to lug around a big reader or tablet.
      If you’re interested in audiobooks, I’d definitely recommend looking into Overdrive. Even if it is a little ugly and slightly awkward as an app, it still gets the job done! haha
      I’ve heard about Literally, but I’ve never tried it. I’ll look into it! 🙂

  6. writersideup says:

    Nicole, I don’t have a smartphone and I almost never use the tablet I got through Verizon, but I’m happy to know about these apps, especially the one for free audiobooks. I really need to start LISTENing to books, too, only I’ll probably stick with nonfiction if/when I do. Thanks!

    • Nicole says:

      Luckily, you don’t need a tablet or smartphone to use Overdrive. I only really use the app when I want to listen to a book while I’m at work, but at home I just listen via my computer. And I forgot to mention you can actually read ebooks from Kobo on your computer! (I assume it includes all the cute things the phone app has haha) And, instead of Bluefire, when I’m reading Net Galley eARCs at home I use Adobe Digital Editions (which is free) to open the files. So those are some more non-smartphone equivalent options if you ever need them!
      I’m really glad I started listening to audiobooks – I love them! But it does make a difference (to me at least) who performs the audiobook and it’s weird/interesting when you start to realise what your listening preferences are. It’s just not something you usually think about very much! (Or at least I don’t…)

      • writersideup says:

        What I found, recently with a book I “read” mostly by audio on a long drive, was that the narrator, though she did it well, wasn’t able to convey the characters, etc. in a way that was captivating to ME. I got home and there was the last chapter left and I decided to read it from the physical book. I enjoyed it MUCH more that way, so it left a bad taste in my mouth for fiction by audio 😦

        • Nicole says:

          Yeah, it can be hit or miss. But the same way you wouldn’t abandon reading print/ebooks all together if you read a less-than-perfect one, it equally wouldn’t make sense to abandon the whole medium of audiobooks after one less-than-perfect listening experience, right?
          On the plus side, it definitely takes much less time to feel out an audiobook than a print book or ebook! 😉

  7. Lisa says:

    I use a few of these: Kindle, Goodreads, Bluefire, Overdrive… and I wish my library had an app, but it doesn’t! I also have the Audible app, for when an audiobook title I want isn’t available via Overdrive. A few authors I follow have apps too, so those also sit in the Books folder on my IPhone. 🙂 How did I ever live without all this book tech right at my fingertips?

    • Nicole says:

      It’s a shame your library doesn’t do it….yet!? But I think more and more libraries are going that way. They’re just a bit slow to get these kinds of things sorted usually. I actually don’t go down to my library in person (it’s too far away for me to be bothered to risk an overdue book) so I use mine only for audiobooks (and now ebooks on occasion too).
      I never thought to follow author apps… Actually it never crossed my mind that authors might have apps! haha I don’t know if I like any authors quite that much to get an author app but it’s certainly an interesting idea.

      It’s true! I think that about apps in general. I’ve only had a smartphone now for a little over a year – my dad forced it on me as a gift pretty much because I’d never have bothered to get one myself – but now I use apps for so many really useful things! Book stuff, budgeting, reminding me to drink water, exercise apps, keeping in touch with friends… People can say what they will about technology bringing about the end of society, but mine have made me more knowledgeable, more sociable, more in control of my life and healthier soooooo you know what side of the fence I’m on with that one! hahah

  8. kay says:

    Hi there do you know any sites where you can sell your books other than ebey and Amazon? I used to used greenmetropolis. Com but it closed down
    Kay

    • Nicole says:

      Hiya Kay!
      That’s a tricky one. I don’t actually sell books very often; I usually can’t be bothered because it often feels like a lot of work for very little return. I think Amazon is pretty evil and ebay is a terrible place to sell books (you definitely won’t get a good price and you’re unlikely to sell anything at all). So I usually just unload all my unwanted at the nearest charity shop. I’ve given to Oxfam, Islamic relief, and others. It occurs to me now that I haven’t given to any libraries yet but I could probably do that too…I’m not sure if they have a budget to pay for the books or if they just take donations but I imagine it’s the latter.
      BUT I would probably suggest looking into bookshop marketplaces. In the UK Waterstones is a major bookseller and they’ve got a Marketplace where people can sell their books. I’m not sure what the agreement is, how easy it is for sellers or how much you get at the end, but I’ve definitely bought from there a few times and it doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.
      If you just want to unload books and get back at least a small pittance rather than charity shopping, I have once tried a random website like ziffit.com or webuybooks.com where you just type in the ISBN of your books, they tell you what they’ll take and for how much (usually only a few pennies per book), then you pack them up in one big package and send them off. Easy. But not particularly profitable.

      I know I’m probably not the most knowledgeable about selling books because I do generally tend to just give mine away to friends and strangers alike with wonton abandon, but I hope this helps at least a little bit!

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