Library Blog

Reading and Writing Apps: Enhance Your Experience

book with heart shaped pages and cup of coffee

Are you looking for an easier way to browse for new reading titles from home?  Having trouble remembering which James Patterson or Stuart Woods books you have already read? Do you want to set reading goals for the year or read reviews of new titles before you check them out or buy them?  Would you like help with grammar and writing tips for professional emails and documents you submit?  Give some of these reading and writing apps a try, and improve your overall reading and writing experience! 

 

Goodreads 

Goodreads is an extremely popular free app, available on just about any electronic device for immediate download.  Requiring only a valid email address to sign up, a Goodreads account gives you access to dozens of features that are beloved by bibliophiles worldwide.  Find Goodreads in the Google Play or Apple store, or whatever app store your electronic device uses, or go to www.goodreads.com and sign up for a free account today! 

 

Keep track of what you have read 

Perhaps the most popular feature of Goodreads is how you can mark a book as “currently reading” or one that you want to read.  Goodreads offers real-time status updates to help you track your reading, mark a book as one you are reading, have read, want to read, or did not finish, among several status options.  This app makes it much easier to see what books you have read, quickly look up other books in a series you are reading, and organize your books into genre or any other way you might want to.   

Automatically track your Kindle reads by linking to your Amazon account 

Tracking your reading selections doesn’t stop at paper books on Goodreads.  This feature allows you to automatically mark a book as “read in Goodreads via a prompt once you finish reading it on your Kindle.  Any book available in the Kindle store will be tracked automatically, allowing you to keep a good handle on what you have read digitally.   

Link your account in a few easy steps right now using this link https://www.goodreads.com/amazon. 

Recommend a book to a friend  

Never again say to your fellow book loving friends after hearing they love a good spy novel “I read this great book not too long ago, it was about this spy in Russia and he had a love interest in the SVR… the title had red something in it.”  Goodreads allows you to virtually inspect your friends’ reading shelves for what they have read, want to read, and have reviewed.  It also allows you to recommend a title to one of your friends on Goodreads with a one touch push of a button.  This can greatly expand the reading universe for you and your friends.   

Customize genre recommendations   

The Goodreads app takes your ratings for the books you have read and gives you customized book recommendations from similar works and authors in the genre you are reading.  This often includes some lesser known titles and ones from a few years ago you may have forgotten about.  Customized recommendations give you a lot better selection from which to choose your next read.   

 

These are just some of the features the Goodreads app offers to improve your reading experience.  At the very least, you’ll no longer have to keep track of what books you have read in a long series with a paper and pen, scratching off titles as you go.   

Wattpad 

Writer’s community  

Wattpad is available for free in the Apple and Google play stores.  The focus of Wattpad is being a forum for writers to generate published material in several genres.  It is a great app for aspiring authors to build a community around and to get their work out for review and constructive criticism.  The reader’s voting feature allows readers of your work to show their appreciation for your work, often resulting in further writing of that story or character into a series because of reader demand.   

Curated reading recommendations  

Wattpad gives you specifically tailored book and story recommendations that improve the more you participate on Wattpad.  Your votes, authors and stories you follow, comments, and reading lists help Wattpad learn your reading preferences and give you suggestions that mirror these. 

Offline reading capability  

Frequent eBook readers often confront the inconvenient problem of having reached their data-cap within the first week of their billing cycle, preventing them from downloading more eBooks.  Another problem that confronts frequent users of online eBook and audiobook services is finding yourself trapped in a wifi deadzone. The Wattpad app syncs your library to your phone so that you can enjoy your books anywhere, with or without an internet connection. 

 

Inkitt 

Inkitt is a book lover’s app designed for people who love to read and write.  Inkitt is an app from a publishing house that allows its users to access numerous books online for free.  You can then keep them in your offline digital library, allowing you to read in places with no wifi 

Inkitt also encourages the self-promotion of new authors.  This makes it a great platform for new authors to get their material out to readers directly, build a fan base, and develop a following.   

 

 

Grammarly 

Grammarly is an app you can download for free on any device you do any type of writing on, be it social media, email, or stories.  As you type, Grammarly catches, pinpoints, and fixes even the tiniest mistakes that similar tools might overlook. Grammarly was developed by linguists, and it breaks your writing down in order to improve it by fixing repetitive words, misspelled words, incorrect comma usage, and other problem areas.  The result is more concise, focused and professional writing. 

 

Other reading and writing apps and tools to check out: 

  • Shelfie– upload pics of your book collection and browse those of others, getting recommendations and like-minded readers engaged in conversation (free for IOS and Android). 
  • Pocket free for IOS anAndroid; this app allows you to save articles, webpages, and videos you want to read or view later, even offline.  
  • Lynda.com– free online resource available through your public library.  Lynda.com offers a wide array of writing tutorials including grammar lessons, how to write an article, how to write reviews, etc.  Access for free with a valid library card through www.libraryvisit.org. 

Go to Online Resources, and sign up for Lynda.com for free to access these and hundreds of other tutorials. 

 

 

Chris

Chris is an adult librarian with the PLYMC. He enjoys reading, particularly science fiction and psychological thrillers, hiking, being outdoors, and watching cat and dog videos.