Other bookish fun

Apps for readers and how I use them

There are a ton of apps out there for reading and other book-related fun. Sometimes it can be overwhelming when trying to figure out which ones to use for which purposes, especially if you want to start cataloging. Some people use certain apps differently than others, and it took me some time to in order to finally create a system I like. Here is a list of the ones I use, and what I use them for:

Goodreads: Some people like to use Goodreads as a way of cataloging books they own, but I don’t. I use Goodreads for the social media aspect. I like to scroll through my feed to see what my friends are reading. I enjoy using the recommendation feature to share books with people (my Goodreads account is connected to my Facebook, so it’s easy to automatically have your Facebook friends on Goodreads). I also rate the books I read and keep track of how many books I read each year through the Goodreads challenge (which I have yet to win…but this year it looks like I will!). I also like utilizing the “to-read” list, which continues to grow. One really cool feature on the mobile app is the barcode scanner, which is a quick way for me to add new books to my to-read list; I use this often while I’m perusing bookstores. The only lists I use consistently are the default “currently reading,” “to-read,” and “read” lists.

LibraryThing: This is what I use for cataloging my personal library. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to start doing this. It’s free up to the first 300 books, then you have to pay a subscription fee. There is an option for lifetime membership for $25, which I did, and it’s totally worth it. The site is so comprehensive, there are features on it I know I still haven’t explored, and I know there are features I will probably never use. Many actual librarians use LibraryThing, so it’s got all the bells and whistles for cataloging. They recently came out with a mobile app for iPhones, which was long awaited. I don’t have an iPhone, which brings me to my next app…

Book Catalogue: After testing out many different mobile apps, this is the one I decided on. It’s free, and it’s a nice way to keep your catalogue on your phone. I wanted this because I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t often remember what books I own. So while I’m shopping, I use to it check and see before I accidentally buy something I already have. Ideally, I would have the LibraryThing app with my catalogue already on it, but I’m not an iPhone user, so I had to come up with an alternative. You can import existing catalogues into the Book Catalogue app, which I did. However, I had to do a lot of changing of editions and covers in the app, because it filled in some gaps incorrectly when uploading the catalogue from LibraryThing. This was a pain, and I’ll be very excited when LibraryThing releases an Android app; however, it took so long for the iPhone one, I’m not holding my breath.

Nook: I have a Nook e-reader, so I also have the Nook app on my phone and my laptop. I don’t use it too often because I don’t read e-books too often, but it’s nice because it syncs up all your purchases on all devices through your Barnes and Noble account. The app is also free.

And that’s that! What apps do you use and how do you use them? Let me know if you have any questions about the ones I use!


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