Thursday, July 7, 2011

App Alert: My Favorite Bookish Apps

Recently I broke down and got an iPhone, and I have to say, I love it. But being who I am, I had to find out what applications were available for the bookish. It turns out there are lots; every e-reader seems to have an app, as do many websites and books. But there are a few that I turn to over and over and I wanted to share those with you, in case you're wondering how to load up your own smart phone with gadgets to enhance your book life.

And, as of this writing, all of these apps are free through the iTunes store!

Overdrive Media Console is a must-have for the audiophile. Overdrive allows you to download and listen to free audiobooks from your local public library, and it's so simple to use- you just find your library, sign in and start browsing their audio collections. When you find something, add it to your cart and check it out. Just like that, you have a new audiobook.

Out and about looking for a bookstore, LibraryThing's Local Books app is indispensable. You can search locations near and far for libraries, bookstores and other venues, check out events and link directly to their websites. The app also hooks into LibraryThing to make use of its LibraryThing Local tools.

If you like poetry, there are two must-have apps. Poetry Daily is an app version of the website that posts a new poem every day, and the app allows users to read the daily poem, save favorites and link to sponsors. Poetry, created by the Poetry Foundation, allows users to search its database of poems by theme. You can mix and match moods and subjects- combining categories Doubt and Work & Play returns 35 poems, for example; change the mood to Insecurity and the app returns 103 poems. I could spend hours on this app!

The home-cataloguing and social-reading site GoodReads has a great mobile version built into their app, allowing you to use your smart phone's camera to scan books directly into your library wherever you are. You can also check your library and add new books at the touch of a button.

Finally, for the literary fiction loving smart phone user, the Man Booker Prize app is a must-have. Not only can you see lists of all winners and long- and short-listed books, but there are tons of bonus features like audio samples, interviews with authors and video content. It's a one-stop shop for Booker Prize information. The app also links to bookstores based on your location.

Which bookish apps do you use? Which are your favorites? Do you find they enhance your reading experiences, or, is all you need to enjoy reading a book?

Check back here from time to time for more App Alert posts- whenever I come across a new bookish app I'm infatuated with, I'll be sure to tell you about it!

18 comments:

Emily said...

I had no idea about the Overdrive App. That's amazing!! Thanks so much for the recommendations!

Melissa said...

These are awesome apps! Thanks!

bermudaonion said...

I love my iPhone too. I'm going to check out the Overdrive app right now. Thanks for the tip!

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

I'm going to take a look at the Booker Prize app. I'm not doing a challenge for it (officially or a personal goal), but I love the sound of all those extras/interviews.

Kate said...

Great information! I can't wait to check these out!

Care said...

I don't have an iPhone but I'm thinking about it. I use the goodreads app on my iPad but the safari access to the main site is very workable so I do that a lot, too. Some regular main websites are unworkable (ie, Monster) and I have Overdrive but have yet to use it! I can't find any audiobooks that interest me that are available from my library, I guess. And I haven't mastered listening to my iPad - I think I need an iPod. or just cave and get the iPhone? I'm overwhelmed and the social media technology storm is just starting...

Valerie said...

I have almost all of the apps you mention here, including the Booker Prize one. IndieBound is a good app for finding local bookstores (or you can set it to find all indie stores, such as bike shops). You can tap through to get to a map/directions, etc.

I don't really like reading on my iPhone (even with enlarged fonts) but there are quite a few apps with free books bundled in them on my iPhone. try searching "free books" in the app store.

Have fun with your iPhone!

Zibilee said...

I added a few of these, so thanks for sharing! I was wondering if you were going to post about the Booker Prize app, and see that you did! I also like Bluefire Reader. It's an app that lets you read any pdf from your computer, including e-galleys. I will have to let you know if I came across any other good ones. Thanks for sharing these!

Audra said...

Awesome! I've got an Android so I wasn't sure all the apps would work for my phone but I'm esp grateful for the Overdrive app -- hooray!

Kathleen said...

I have an iPhone but haven't heard about any of these apps. Thanks for calling my attention to them.

bookmagic said...

I'm the only one I know without a smart phone. If I did sounds like I could go app crazy

bookmagic said...

I'm the only one I know without a smart phone. If I did sounds like I could go app crazy

Rayna Eliana said...

Great post and links, Marie.

I use Nook for the iPhone. I also use Man Booker and use GoodReads.

Kate said...

Fun! I got an iPad for my birthday and I'm having a great time playing with these apps! Thanks for posting. I linked this in my Friday Five over at Kate's Library.

Have a great weekend!

Biblibio said...

Though I don't have a smartphone (or anything remotely near it...), this is a very cool, useful list of bookish phone applications. Like many others, I'm particularly intrigued by the Overdrive app - seems like it must be remarkably convenient and useful!

Carin Siegfried said...

I also just got an iPhone last month. GoodReads was one of the first apps I downloaded! But thanks to you I now have Overdrive and Local Books! Thanks!

Trish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anna said...

If I ever enter the 21st century and upgrade my cell phone, I'll keep these apps in mind! ;)