5 Fantastic Apps for Reading

Before I plunge into the list of apps I use for reading, I’d like to share some happy news first: my story Pearls Mean Tears is published in Penny Shorts! It is one of the few stories I’ve managed to get reprinted. Do pop over and take a look!

The other day, while I was reading stories on Penny Shorts and other literary journals online on my iPhone, a friend leaned over my shoulder and seeing me with my nose buried in the virtual text, demanded to know which apps I used to read. I then realized I had more than one, and in subsequent interactions, I came to know many people wanted options for reading.

Note that all the below are free to download, but may feature in-app purchases.

Kindle

The default app for reading these days is the Kindle. I have no use for a separate Kindle device but the app for the smartphone is invaluable. Don’t ask me how many books sit on my digital TBR pile – it would shame even Amazon itself!

The monthly Kindle deals that roll around at the beginning of each month offer books at throwaway prices!

Blinkist: Big Ideas in small packages

This little app started four years ago and has hit a million users already! It condenses entire nonfiction books into bite-sized “blinks” that can be finished in 20-30 minutes. And if you like the book you can always buy and read the whole thing! But I found this perfect for me – I love reading nonfiction but had stayed away from it due to lack of time. I can finish one book on Blinkist per day easily, and I’m won over enough to sign up for the premium subscription!

They’re currently offering a deal that offers 4 months off!

Juggernaut

An Indian digital-only publisher of books in a variety of genres – romance, thrillers, short stories etc. I downloaded the app with the intention of submitting work to them, though I haven’t yet got around to doing that. Meanwhile the app has me hooked with enticing new releases every week!

Their short stories cost Rs. 10 onwards while books cost Rs. 30 onwards.

Magzter

Whenever I stood at the checkout counter of my local grocery superstore, I gazed longingly at the magazines and wondered when I’d get time to curl up with one at home. Thanks to Magzter I now have the next best thing – a digital version of the magazines! I found the price quite reasonable as well, mainly because I snagged an annual deal.

Price: Annual subscription for Rs. 990 that offers access to 4000+ magazines.

Feedly

I subscribe to a humongous number of blogs, some general interest but others in niche areas of writing and technology. Someday I will have to cull this list, but until then I use Feedly to catch up on all the blogs I follow.

This app and its services are completely free. I haven’t paid anything to use it as yet.

 

What are your favourite apps for reading?

 

The Power of Apps

I am thrilled to report that Distant Echoes is doing well and is listed on Amazon as a free download today! Do pick up a copy and post a review! The official Facebook page is here. If you like the collection, spread the word and get your friends to buy it. If you don’t like it, spread the word and get your friends to buy it anyway, because really, what better way to make them suffer?

This experience of self-publishing had me thinking about the Kindle App and the power of apps in general. Here’s a fun fact about me – I didn’t own a smartphone until a year ago. Gulp! Go ahead and ask the question that’s churning in your mind – how did I survive? The truth is I had a nifty iPod Touch for all my smartphone needs, and I cruised along reasonably well with it. However at some point I caved in to the hype and purchased the iPhone 5S, which is now my constant companion and partner-in-crime.

Over a period of one year I added and discarded a vast number of apps from my collection. I generally don’t overload my phone and keep only the apps that I really need and actually use on a daily basis.

In that spirit, I thought I’d share with you the five free apps that I use the most: 

What would writers do without this Dictionary and thesaurus?  Their Word of the Day adds to my vocabulary, and the blog too posts interesting articles on a regular basis.

 

A friend recently introduced me to this app and it’s amazing! Choose your workout and follow the exercises given. It provides YouTube videos to guide you on the right way to perform each exercise. The pro version offers customizable workouts and full workout logs, but the lite version should be sufficient for most people.

 

This is a calorie tracker app which I use, though not as religiously as it’s meant to be used. MyFitnessPal is the best calorie tracker app out there, but I was already a registered LiveStrong user so I continued on it. MyPlate has a great collection of food items that can be logged, including common Indian food items.

Because a girl needs to play! Does this need any other explanation? For some reason this is one game that I turn to whenever I feel stressed. It’s my equivalent of doing meditation.

An awesome app for storytellers. I resort to it whenever I’m stuck for ideas, and it always gets the creative juices flowing. It suggests a character, a setting and a plot, which you’re supposed to use in combination to write a story. I use this to generate ideas for my writing practice, and if the practice turns into a workable sellable story then what could be better?

In other writing news, I am a proud mamma this week, as my post Jill of All Trades was published in Literary Mama. Take a look and tell me what you think.

Do share your favourite apps as I’m always looking to add to my collection!