Like any other warm blooded individual, I’m addicted to my phone. Sadly, I’ve become accustomed to reaching for it practically every 30 minutes it seems. Statistically, this need and want to be on our phones 24/7 is not uncommon, so I feel okay about providing you more ways in which you can use your phone, but I promise that my hope is to enhance your reading habits/experience. We word nerds are always on the hunt to find new and fun ways to spend time reading, so why not use our phones in that process? Some reading apps are obvious… Goodreads, Kobo, iBooks, but I want to dig a little deeper and provide you with a list of some conventional and unconventional apps you should have on your phone if you’re addicted to books.
I’m going to be real honest with you and tell you that I use to be really unsure of how to borrow eBooks from the library. It seemed like a really intimidating experience. Then someone in my life sat me down and explained that if I just got overdrive, all that anxiety would disappear. And it did.
All that’s required for OverDrive is a library card and some empty storage on your phone. From the comfort of your home, you can borrow or reserve eBooks and audiobooks quickly and efficiently. Books can be searched by genre, author or title and there’s also a great function that allows you to search for ‘available now’ titles that are just sitting there waiting for you to download them.
The best part is that after you download the file (ePub or audio file), it will be on your phone (in this app) for 2 weeks, allowing you to read or listen to it at your earliest convenience and then it returns it to the queue when those two weeks are up. For me, this has been a lifesaver for long commutes and for my morning walks. If you don’t already have it, you need to get it ASAP.
2. Podcast App
Here’s another thing that use to be really overwhelming to me… podcasts. I remember hearing that a lot of people were listening to them via their iTunes account, but when I went to do it, I didn’t know how to sync it with my old iPod and it just seemed really confusing. When I got my iPhone a few years back, I made a goal to really get the hang of podcasts. Luckily for me, there was a simple and easy way to do it.
From the app store, download the purple podcast app, hit search to browse the “store” where you’ll pay nothing and search the term books. You’ll get plenty of suggestions, such as NYT Book Review, NPR: Books, Books on the Nightstand and one of my favourites, BookRiot. Once you subscribe to these podcasts, they’ll download their recent episodes and live in this app until you remove the download.
If you’re someone who loves reading, you’re going to get a number of book suggestions by tuning into these podcasts (which are all usually updated weekly). I often get some of my best book recommendations by opening this app.
3. Songza App
I feel that by now, most of you know what Songza is, but just in case you don’t… Songza is a free music streaming and recommendation service that suggest playlists for you based on the time and date of when you open the app. I’ll create a scenario for you…
It’s Sunday afternoon. Your laundry is done. Your kids are down for a nap and it’s just you and your phone. Open Songza and it’ll break it down for you in real simple terms; are you…
- Relaxing at Home
- Solo Piano
- Nature Sounds
You click Solo Piano and then have three varied music playlists that have been curated for you.
- Mello Solo Piano
- Classic Piano Jazz
- Strictly Piano
Voila, you’ve now got a specific playlist that can create some really great background music for you as you dip into that new Ian McEwan or Ann-Marie MacDonald. This app has become my go-to app for when I’m reading and want some background music. Highly, highly recommended.
I often stumble across a word in my reading that I’ve never seen before, so having the dictionary app makes it quick and easy to find a words definition. I wish that I wise enough to recognize all words, but that just isn’t the case and having this app has really helped to enhance my reading.
Not to mention, the app in itself is really great. Each day you get a different word and it’s definition. Today’s word is,
Hypogeum – noun; an underground burial chamber
Now I don’t know when I’ll be having my next conversation about burial chambers, but when I do, I’m definitely going to weave the word hypogeum into my lingo. This app also has some great word and literary posts embedded into the app. Some of today’s options are, “8 Words That Are Older Than You Think, 13 Essential Literary Terms & Word Fact: I Couldn’t Care Less vs. I Could Care Less”
If you’re a word nerd like me, this is a GREAT app to have on your phone!
5. WattPad App
Wattpad is a writing community in which users are able to post articles, stories, fan fiction, and poems about anything either online or through the Wattpad app.
Not only do I think it’s a great tool for readers and aspiring writers, but I think it’s really cool that it’s headquarters is located in Toronto. Broken down into ‘Discover’ categories, you can select reads for writers in the featured stories section, the stories you might enjoy section and my favourite, the lunch break reads section. Of course, you can also sort through genre specific categories as well.
Whatever your pleasure, there’s a little something for everyone on this app.
And there you have it friends, 5 apps you should have on your phone if you love books. Of course, you should get all the original gangsta’s like, Kobo, Goodreads, Audible, but try some of these really great ones too! I’m sure there are many, many more apps that will help to enhance your reading experience, so if you know of an app(s) that I (or all of us reading this post) should download to our phones immediately, please leave a comment below and share, because sharing is caring.
~Happy Reading… on your iPhone or Android.