Bookish App Reviews

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There are so many book-related apps out there right now, which is amazing! Everywhere you go, you can stay connected to your reader friends, discover new books and bookstores, and always, always have something to read. I haven’t tried every single app out there, but I have tried a fair few of them, so I thought I’d share some of my thoughts with you. I’m not sure if these apps are available on all platforms – I have an iPhone – but I think most of them are available on iOS and Android. (Click on the name of each app to download or find out more!)

OverDrive

Overdrive + a library card = having an entire library in your pocket. With this app, you plug in your local library card, and have access to your library online. Most libraries have ebooks and audiobooks available to borrow (my library allows 14-day checkout periods, not sure if this is universal or depends on individual library policies). It’s an amazing way to have access to hundreds of books, all for free. AND you don’t have to worry about returning them on time – the app does it for you (unless you renew the borrowing period). Definitely an app all readers need to have.

Squirl

This is one of those apps that I think is a brilliant idea, but, unfortunately didn’t work for me. Basically, the purpose of this app is to discover places around you that were featured in books. If you live in a big city – like New York or Chicago – I think this will be pretty cool, since there are tons of books set there. I live in a large suburban town in Southern California, in no fiction books are set (believe me, I looked). So, unless I’m traveling, this app is just not going to work for me.

Litsy

I love this app, and I need to get better at using it regularly. It’s pretty much Instagram, but just for books, and it was created by one of my favorite bookish stores: Out of Print. You can share pictures, quotes, and reviews of books, and follow authors, reader friends, or bloggers. If you download it, add me: username is AdventuresOfABibliophile.

Books Amino

I downloaded this app after seeing several BookTubers mention it, but, I’ll be honest: it confused the hell out of me. I spent way too much time figuring it out, and got nowhere. In my opinion, this app is not very user-friendly. It’s almost impossible to find people you know, and there are way too many things going on. Unfortunately, I ended up taking this one off my phone.

Serial Reader

This app eliminates all excuses to read those classics you’ve been putting off. You pick any one of a huge selection of open source classics, and Serial Reader gives you a 10-15 minute section of it to read every day, and reminds you when a new chapter is available. Even if Les Miserables seems crazy intimidating, almost anyone can spare 15 minutes every day, and, if you stick to it, you’ll have finished it in less than a year! I think this is a brilliant way to read some of the heavier classics, because they’re divided into manageable chunks.

Audible

Obviously, I’m a huge fan of Audible. Anytime I’m in the car for more than ten minutes, I have an audiobook going. I love that they’re all on my phone, I don’t have to worry about CDs, and I have a huge selection (since I’ve had the app for about two years now). Plus, members get a discount on audiobooks beyond the monthly credits you get with your subscription, and if you cancel, you can keep the app with all the audiobooks you’ve purchased. This has made a huge difference in my work commute, because I don’t feel like I’m wasting time in traffic. Reading books while you drive? Life-changing! Highly recommend Audible to anyone with a long commute.


What are your favorite bookish apps? Have you tried any of the ones I’ve mentioned?

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12 thoughts on “Bookish App Reviews

  1. I like Litsy also, but I forget to use it also. It’s good right now, but it’s really close to being a fantastic app. I think, like you, I need to make myself use it more.
    I desperately miss Oyster Books. It was like Netflix for e-books at a reasonable price with an amazing library.
    I have a special hate in my heart for Riffle. I was a beta tester and just could not figure out what they wanted it to be. After a protracted testing period, they launched it. I kept trying to use it, but it never added up. Finally, I left and unsubscribed to their incessant emails. I don’t know how many times I’ve unsubscribed but I keep getting them! I’ve even blocked them and yet they still find a way to my inbox. Grrr!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My coworker just told me about Overdrive last week and I downloaded this past weekend. I hope to use it for audiobooks that I can’t afford to buy 🙂 It’s been great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! It is kind of great, especially since my local library is NOT a fun place to go. I can access it all (or most of it) from my computer or phone. Maybe there’s a similar program in South Africa? I’m sure some libraries have digital resources available.

      Liked by 1 person

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