Reading apps are convenient, eco-friendly, and affordable… so what are you waiting for? Get onto it, bookworms!
If there’s anything the past few years have shown us, it’s that technology will play a big role in the future of work, life, and leisure. Online reading apps have been going on for a while, but there’s a bunch of benefits to transitioning to digital books from your traditional paperbacks.
Convenience is probably the most obvious one — being able to store and save your books to open up at any time, but there’s also the mitigated environmental impact through eliminating the paper process, and long-term affordability. There has never been a better time to check out the best apps, whether it’s to read a new novel, or get suggestions via apps that recommend books.
These are just a few of the reasons to jump on a reading app now! We’ve collected a few of the best ones on the market (for iOS, Android, or both!), below.
Aldiko’s unique offering is that — while being an e-reading platform — it also allows you to view several options before purchasing an e-book, allowing you to choose the best price.
Compatible with Android devices, the app also has an extremely customizable reading interface that lets you organize your e-book shelf as per your desires. The brand offers both a free and premium version of the app.
— Aldiko (@Aldiko) December 12, 2015
Audible is one of the more unique options in this line-up, as it only offers audiobooks. For those who enjoy streaming e-books, Audible allows you to listen offline and accumulate streaming credits, access to exclusive podcasts, and more.
As part of the Amazon company, Audible offers two free credits during the trial period for people that are already Prime members.
Sometimes you wanna read, sometimes you wanna listen. Make the transition between the two as smooth as possible by picking up where you left off any device. Try filtering by “WhisperSync for Voice” in your search. Click here to learn more: https://t.co/3cFvrrV9JT pic.twitter.com/AmOHdEyhhi
— Audible (@audible_com) August 27, 2021
Kindle was one of the first big reading apps in the online space. Available on both iOS and Android, the Kindle app hosts approximately 1.5 million books at your fingertips. It offers a wide selection of magazines, books, newspapers, and has a user-friendly interface.
As an Amazon product, you’ll have to register an account with the company and pay a regular subscription fee to access the services — typically this starts at $9.99/month.
Made specifically for Apple devices, Apple Books is the brand’s equivalent of an online library. It has features to keep track of completed books, ‘to-read’ lists, audiobooks, and the option to join book clubs.
Since there’s no regular subscription fee for the service, you pay for books specifically when you want them — rather than paying a weekly, monthly, or yearly fee. It does also have a dedicated section for special offers and free books.
Our latest #endofsummer series read isn’t for the faint of heart. Falling by @T_J_Newman is a heart-pounding story that takes place 35,000 feet off the ground. Read a sample: https://t.co/AQdWgpr6Zx pic.twitter.com/9xEge4Q4c1
— Apple Books (@AppleBooks) August 27, 2021
Compatible with Kindle Fires, BookFunnel is a great way to be able to discover new authors. If you’re an author yourself, you can use the Author Swap feature which allows you to swap chapters with a fellow writer!
Did you know we were mentioned in Fortune Magazine? Our founder was interviewed and we’re excited! Check it out! https://t.co/znhAkfVS6L
— BookFunnel (@BookFunnel) January 3, 2017
On ComiXology, readers can purchase and access hundreds of Kindle comics, as well as hundreds of graphic and manga novels. With titles from Marvel, DC, Viz, Kodansha, Dark Horse, Image, and their own exclusive Comixology Originals, ComiXology is currently only available on iOS to US-based customers.
For those unaware, Amazon + Comixology recently marked down practically all #BlackPanther comics to $0.00 (FREE) in honor of Chadwick Boseman’s passing. This is an amazing opportunity to own and share these Marvel stories.
Here’s a thread of links w/ easy 1-Click Buy buttons… pic.twitter.com/XGmsXFHUoj
— Gian Cruz (@helloxgian) September 16, 2020
For younger readers — kindergarten to high school — Epic! offers millions of children’s titles, along with videos and quizzes from leading publishers, to elevate kids’ learning and reading experiences. While free for educators in the US and Canada, Epic! for Home starts off with a 30-day free trial, and then a subscription fee of $4.99/month.
“If You Come to Earth” is a refreshing look at the Earth, the environment, and humanity through the eyes of a child, as he writes a letter to a potential visitor from outer space. It’s a beautiful reminder of how remarkable the diversity of our world truly is. pic.twitter.com/uMk3f6j0zx
— Epic for Kids (@epic4kids) September 7, 2021
Google Play Books
Android’s equivalent of Apple Books, Google Books is self-described as one of the most “comprehensive indexes of full-text books.” Books are also able to be translated, downloaded, and cited by readers. Similar to Apple, there is no subscription fee — so individual titles must be paid for.
The Google Books initiative has been hailed as a significant effort to democratize knowledge by giving unbridled access to millions of titles. When reading, it also allows you to make layout changes to ease the strain of the text on your eyes, highlight text, and has a built-in dictionary.
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Lithium: EPUB reader
Lithium is a free reading app — that comes with an option to upgrade to a premium version — that allows users to write notes, highlight passages and mark pages on whatever title they’ve dug into! Only available on Android, it also boasts of night and sepia modes for the night-owls.
the free version of lithium epub reader is so good
— 𝐢𝐥𝐲𝐬𝐛: 𝐢 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐲𝐞𝐬𝐮𝐧𝐠 𝐬𝐨 𝐛𝐚𝐝 (@yesexaesong) February 7, 2022
Developed by the American bookstore giant and Fortune 1000 company Barnes & Noble, Nook is available on both Android and Apple devices. The reading app boasts of features like tailored, expert reading recommendations, millions of best-selling e-books and digital magazines, and the B&N Readouts feature — which lets users browse chapters and articles from hundreds of the best new titles, for free.
Oodles E-book Reader
A books discovery platform that boasts over 50,000+ titles, Oodles is a great free resource to dive into some new books.
I just discovered Oodles eBook Reader with thousands of free eBooks! Its awesome! market://details?id=com.oodles.download.free.ebooks.reader
— Sir Deimos (@ShivaEnterprise) March 20, 2013
Available 24/7, Overdrive is a reading app that allows users to borrow eBooks, audiobooks, and streaming videos from your local (school/uni/council) library. It has the ability to recommend titles, as well as automatically schedule returns (s0, no late return fees!)
If registered with a local library, it lets users access thousands of library resources, for free. The brand has also released a sister app, Libby, which is a newer version of the Overdrive app. It doesn’t have all the features of Overdrive (yet!) but it is a faster, more attractive digital browsing experience.
Another resource that helps shine a light on up-and-coming authors, Prolific Works is compatible with both Android and iOs devices. While they offer free book through their app, they also offer a range of subscription offers for authors, like Basic, Pro, and Plus.
Halloween is fast approaching, so we’re loading our ereaders with paranormal books! The Shifter Tales Group Giveaway has plenty of free reads filled with monsters and mayhem for you to enjoy.https://t.co/erZNurcAFm #FreeBooks #ParanormalBooks pic.twitter.com/wma3ymXIcn
— Prolific Works (formerly Instafreebie) (@prolific_works) October 13, 2020
Free, with minimal ads, and able to read both PDF and EPUB, ReadEra is a reading app that’s exclusively available for Android users. With thousands of titles, the app is also a general document reader and is compatible with formats like PDF, EPUB, Microsoft Word (DOC, DOCX, RTF), Kindle (MOBI, AZW3), DJVU, FB2, and TXT.
The Kobo App / Kobo Books
Compatible with both iOs and Android, The Kobo App has over 5 million titles to choose from, including e-books, articles, audiobooks, and more. With a customizable interface, the reading app allows you to change the layout of the pages to your preference.
Of its texts, the app offers translation to English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, or Japanese.
Realm (f.k.a. Serial Box)
Realm (f.k.a Serial Box) offers episode-style excerpts of fiction on a weekly basis, much like your favourite weekly serials! Giving the option of listening to a story podcast-style, or reading it like an e-book, it’s a great option to hunt for your new favourite book.
— Realm (@RealmMedia) December 1, 2021
Scribd’s digital library encompasses thousands of titles from every genre, from true crime, romance, memoir, politics, and more. Like most reading apps, it offers offline downloads and customizable interfaces, as well as sync capabilities across multiple devices. Compatible with both iOs and Android, the app allows you to annotate/bookmark the e-books as you go. Scribd’s pricing begins at $13.99/month.
If Wattpad sounds familiar, it’s probably because it’s one of the most famous birthplaces of fanfic-turned-novels-turned-franchises (e.g. The Kissing Booth and After). It’s an excellent place to discover a range of free, exciting stories.
💋 The Kissing Booth went from a Wattpad viral hit to a Netflix sensation. Want to know how it all happened? Meet the storyteller behind it all—@Reekles! She’ll join @Imaginator1D for an intimate sit-down on dreaming big and making it happen. https://t.co/4DCB7IGKDk pic.twitter.com/mufGAqKron
— Wattpad (@wattpad) August 16, 2018
Goodreads already has a healthy online presence for book reviews and is one of the most reliable and well-read platforms going. Who would know better than these guys when it comes to apps that recommend books? Probably no one.
— goodreads (@goodreads) June 13, 2022