Books and technology are often pitted against each other. I mean, how many times have you heard (or said yourself!), “Ah, no e-reader for me! I’m a dead-tree person!” I am here to tell you, though, that we live in a world that doesn’t force you to chose! You can love books and technology. If, like me, you want to have your trees and your pixels, too, check out some of these awesome (free!) book-related apps for your iOS or Android phones or tablets.
Out of all the bibliovore apps I’ve tried and tired of, Goodreads is the one that has a permanent spot on my home screen. Allowing quick access to your goodreads.com account, this app lets you search for books that are already on your shelves, check out reviews from friends and other members, and even scan barcodes to add books to your shelves. A must-have for people who read so much they can’t keep up with what they want to check out next (or have already forgotten the last book they read!)
YALSA’s Teen Book Finder
Created by The Hub’s own parent organization, YALSA, the Teen Book Finder was created to help lovers of YA lit find more YA lit to love! Currently available only for iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches, this app lets you see three years of awesome YALSA lists and awards, find libraries nearby that have the book you’re looking for, and then share what you’ve found on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t have an Apple device? Then keep your eyes peeled for the Android version, expected before the end of the year!
Chances are, if you belong to a public library, they’ve got some books you can check out on OverDrive! [Some 67% of libraries make ebooks available to their patrons. -ed.] The mega-lending service offers up audiobooks and ebooks at your fingertips and allows you to find and download them within minutes! Check with your local library to see if they participate — and if you’re in middle school, high school, or college, don’t forget that your school library may offer downloads, too!
Comics (aka Comixology)
An early warning on this one: you have to be 17 or older to download it. If you’re into comics or graphic novels at all, though, it’s totally worth it to get parental permission. Comics is the digital distribution spot for more than forty different comic book publishers, making it a snap to purchase the newest Marvel or Tokyo Pop issue. Love comics but you’re broke (like me!)? No worries! Comixology also serves up hundreds of free issues.
Kindle App, Nook App, and Google Play Books
These three apps from the biggies in the ebook selling world allow you to read books you’ve purchased from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and, um, Google, respectively. Be sure to check out their extensive free book selection.
— Ariel Cummins