11 Great Apps for Book Lovers

By Sarah Winfrey on 8 March 2016 0 comments

So, you love books. I mean, you really love books. Join the party. As a fellow book lover, I welcome you into our ranks.

While nothing beats curling up with a good book, sometimes you just can't. Even when your physical books are far away, though, you will usually have your phone on you. Fortunately, there are some great apps for book lovers that will help you make it through until you can find your favorite tome again. (See also: 17 Cool Jobs for Book Lovers)

1. Goodreads

Many book lovers already know about Goodreads, but I'm always surprised by how many of my book-loving friends don't use it. When it comes to social apps for book lovers, this is by far the best. Store your library, list books you've read and books you want to read, rate books, leave reviews, connect with friends, and join discussion groups about nearly any book you can think of. It's a one-stop-shop for your bookish needs. Available for Apple and Android.

2. OverDrive

If you belong to a library — and what book lover doesn't? — then OverDrive can help you check out eBooks on your favorite device. As long as your library belongs to the system, you have access to a vast collection of free eBooks. You can read them on the OverDrive app itself, or download them straight to your Kindle app. Available for Apple, Android, and more.

3. SnapTell

So you're out and about and you pick up a book. After scanning the back cover, you realize that you have got to own this book. But where can you buy it? Enter SnapTell. Just take a picture of the book's cover or scan the barcode, and you will get a description of the book, reader ratings, and information on the best prices, both near you and online. Available for Apple and Android.

4. InstantPoetry

If you love poetry, InstantPoetry is a great way to create your own poems and send them to friends and family. Remember those refrigerator magnets that you could shift around to form poems? This is just like that, except on your phone instead of your fridge. If you have a few minutes of down time and you don't have a book, this app could be the next best thing. Available for Apple.

5. WattPad

WattPad offers a new kind of reading experience. Writers who use the platform choose to release stories serially, offering a section or a chapter at a time. Readers can subscribe to a story, and then are notified when an update is available. As you read, you can write comments, which are then viewable by other readers, too. Over time, discussions pop up, and you come to recognize those readers whose taste and commentary you appreciate. Thus, reading becomes a social as well as a solitary activity. Available for Apple, Android, and more.

6. BookCrawler

BookCrawler is similar to Goodreads, without the social aspect. If you want a robust catalog for your books, this is a great app for you. It also allows you to categorize your books as to whether you've read them, who you've loaned them to, and more. The search feature is among the most robust that I've seen in an app like this, and the app works fast, so you can determine, while standing in a bookstore, whether you already own a book or not. Available for Apple.

7. Scribd

Scribd is kind of like Netflix, but for books. For $8.99/month, you get access to every book that Scribd has the rights to. While many of the most popular books aren't available, the overall selection across genres is very good. If you like to read on your mobile device and you love to hunt down your next favorite read, or if your favorite authors happen to be among Scribd's offerings, this app can ensure that you always have something new to read. Available for Apple, Android, and more.

8. Shelfie

More than anything else, Shelfie is a lot of fun. Snap a photo of your bookshelf, upload it, and the app will automatically catalog your books for you. If you own a print edition of certain books, you'll be able to get discounted (and sometimes free!) audio and eBook versions. You'll be able to see pics that other people uploaded, and connect with them. Whether you're reading the same book or you're interested in each other's past reads, it's always fun to connect with other readers. Available for Apple and Android.

9. The Pickle Index

Take reading to a whole new level with The Pickle Index. This novel was released not only in hard and soft cover editions, but also in an app edition. Read the story as it is released to you, and participate in various games and more along the way. You will get the story over 10 days, along with interactive maps, relevant recipes, and more. It's a completely unique experience, and one that many book lovers find they can fully embrace. Available for Apple.

10. Gerty

Gerty combines journaling and reading to create something completely different. It's an eReader, but it also allows you to comment on your reading as you go. However, your comments are more like a journal than like notes you take in other eReaders. You can create links to outside sources, too (with the paid version), like Facebook, Wikipedia, and more. It also has a feature that sends you information on a book in exchange for a barcode scan. And if you want to journal without a book, you can do that, too! Available for Apple.

11. British Library 19th Century Collection

There are a lot of ways to get free classic eBooks, but this is one of the most elegant. You get books from the time period across all genres, including fiction, theology, philosophy, and more. While the free collection is enough for most people, you can buy the total collection for $89. Sure, that's a chunk of change, but if you love the app and the time period, and you'd like to support the British Library, it's not bad. Available for Apple.

Are you a book lover? What are your favorite apps?

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