For book lovers, the fresh scent of a brand-new paperback or even the faint musty smell of old favorites totally blow away any smartphone, tablet, or ebook reader. Some people prefer having their literature on their mobile devices.
Regardless of where you stand on this matter, there’s no doubt that technology has a lot to offer in terms of enhancing or complementing any reading experience.
We’ve listed some apps and resources below. Do check them out and see which ones can help you.
Goodreads, launched in 2007, is like a large online book club where you can find like-minded people, add friends, and see what everybody else is reading as you publish your own reading list. It puts a social aspect to the activity of reading, and it’s a great way to check out stuff that you might find interesting.
You can also get a Goodreads app for your iOS or Android device, and the profiles can be linked to popular social networking sites for easy sharing.
Sometimes, purchase decisions can sway in favor of which resources you find online. Prices, reviews, and other info are easily searchable, but SnapTell streamlines this process for the user. Just take a picture of a book to check prices and ratings from online sources and nearby stores. Amazon acquired SnapTell a few years ago to convert it into a comparison tool so consumers can cross-check prices of stuff they find in stores with the prices on the retail giant’s own store. It’s not updated often, but it works.
If you’re not one to go to the big bookstores or if you prefer getting recommendations from the local independent stores, IndieBound is the perfect way to find fresh titles. Apart from numerous listings, there are also links to independent bookstores so you can check out their locations, find their business phone numbers, or see how you can order from them. The site is a community effort, so people can show support for local businesses. IndieBound also offers a reader app.
These days, getting your digital book formats isn’t only about getting an app for a particular vendor’s service. You can get book apps directly from your app store of choice. Take note that there are limitations when it comes to the selection, and you don’t get to have all your stuff in one bookshelf, so to speak. However, practically every book app comes with extra features, which may include an audiobook, visual aids, notes, and other related materials.
Google and Other Search Engines
Books are generally descriptive; the idea is that writers ‘show’ and ‘don’t tell’. They do the showing through words, and sometimes we really do see what the authors try to tell us. For the times we don’t, however, there’s always good ol’ Google (or Bing, or whichever search engine you prefer).
For those who are already armed with mobile devices, some reader apps already come with built-in search functions. You just need to highlight the word or phrase you need to get more info about.
If you’re on the go and you prefer not to pad your bill by constant mobile Internet consumption, having a dictionary app is a big help. This way, you don’t have to forego looking for the meaning of a word you’re not familiar with while you’re reading.
Some dictionary apps might require an Internet connection though, so do be careful when picking one out for your device. We recommend the Merriam-Webster dictionary app, which you can download via iTunes here or via the Google Play store here.
Everything can be enhanced by technology these days, and the reading experience is no exception. From buying to reading to finding out more about what you’re reading, there are many ways through which technology complements the act of reading. If you’d like to share your own reading-friendly tools and resources, feel free to add a comment!
Image Credit: Alexandre