1Google Play Books
Google Play Books is an all-in-one book app bringing you a larger-than-the-Library-of-Congress catalog of books, comics, and textbooks covering a wide variety of genres from sci-fi to romance and a wholly customizable reading experience so that you can tailor each minute detail to your needs. To make your choices easier, there’s a preview sample for each book, and you can get a sneak peek of your favorite superheroes’ latest adventures thanks to an innovative preview technology called Bubble Zoom, which was developed specifically for comic books. Much props to Google for these features, whether you’re buying or renting a title, you’ll be thankful for both – especially because it gives a similar feel to being in a real bookstore, library, or comic book store. You can broaden your reading horizons with personalized recommendations, with in-app alerts notifying you about brand new releases, and with Discover, a US-only daily feed packed with books news and articles from the likes of Slate and Vox. To top it off, you can fully customize your reading experience (font type, text size, page color, eye-pleasing Night Light for bedtime reading), and sync your notes and highlights to Google Drive, a nice little extra that students will definitely take advantage of.
2Wattpad Free Books
Wattpad Free Books is an unconventional, community-based book app focusing on the purest essence of what makes each book unique and reading so enjoyable: the story. With Wattpad, you can get access to millions of stories written by authors from all over the world, and by authors we mean a variety of storytellers from enthusiastic amateurs to published professionals with more literary awards on their bookshelves than dust bunnies under their beds. The best thing about Wattpad is that you can follow almost in real time how a story unfolds, leaving comments on the latest plot twists to show your appreciation or to contribute to the author’s development with constructive criticism. Moreover, you have the option to upload your own writings and start building a fan base, and there are monthly writing challenges in case you need an extra boost of motivation or something to kick-start your creativity.
An online library, a bookstore with more than 4 million titles, an immense selection of newspapers and magazines boasting high-resolution images, and a customizable reading experience right at your fingertips – that about sums up the highlights of the Amazon Kindle app. But let us take a closer look at the details, where we’ll hopefully find additional features instead of the devil. Speaking of the devil, money, the root of all evil, is not necessarily needed to get ahold of e-books, as thousands of classic novels and short stories can be yours for free. You can read the first chapter of each book before purchasing them, and if you’re looking for a more wallet-friendly alternative for satisfying your hunger for reading, you can borrow whatever e-books are available in your local library’s catalog. Besides a fully customizable reading experience, the Amazon Kindle app also comes equipped with a built-in dictionary and automatic and comprehensive syncing across multiple devices.
4Scribd – Reading Subscription
For the price of a fancy Starbucks coffee creation – $8.99, to be perfectly on point, and we prefer cozy cafés and brew bars (they’re much better for reading), but’s that’s another subject for another day -, Scribd gives you access to a massive library of books, audiobooks, news, magazines, documents, and even sheet music, to name just a few. If you devour books at the speed of a reading robot, you’ll be disappointed to hear that the subscription only scores you 3 books and 1 audiobook per month, though it still provides unlimited access to everything else – including the world’s largest document library packed with, for instance, academic dissertations, scientific studies, and government reports (nothing on extraterrestrial life and shape-shifting lizards, sad face). Putting the icing on the cake are personalized recommendations, a rich Trending Topics feature, and heaps of hand-picked collections brought to you by Scribd editors, business leaders, and tastemakers.
Fanfiction, if done the right way, can be rightfully considered a separate literary genre, and the freedom it provides for amateur writers to live out their fandom and their creativity via this unique medium has skyrocketed the popularity of fanfiction during the past decade or so. Using the official app of FanFiction.net, you can discover millions of stories, publish your own fanfiction, join message boards, follow your favorite fanfiction writers, and PM likeminded fanfiction fanatics.
6Kobo Books – Reading App
Kobo Books – Reading App gives you access to millions of eBooks, comic books, and children’s books, while also allowing you to customize your reading experience down to the minutest details. You can choose from a wide selection of font styles, adjust font size, switch to Night Mode to take it easy on your eyes during bedtime reading, and you can lock the screen in either portrait or landscape mode depending on the alignment you prefer. Based on your reading habits, Kobo Books delivers personalized recommendations, and if you stumble upon a book that catches your attention, you can preview it just to make sure it’s worth the purchase. To top it off, you can rate and review books, sync bookmarks, highlights, and notes across multiple devices, share quotes on social media, and enjoy reading in 10 languages.
Goodreads is the largest social network for book maniacs, boasting staggering numbers in terms of members (35 million), available books (12 million), and last not least books that Goodreaders added to their virtual bookshelves (more than 1 billion). Using the Goodreads app, you can add new titles to your must-read list thanks to personalized recommendations, and you can read thousands of reviews to see whether the book that’s on your radar is a hit or a miss. Speaking of radars, Goodreads packs a barcode scanner that you’ll certainly use during your bookstore wanderings on account of its pair of functions. With the barcode scanner, you can add the books you like to your Goodreads shelves, and you can also get instant info on and reviews about the book at hand.
8OverDrive – Library eBooks and Audiobooks
Real libraries are so 1990s! We have indubitably gone overboard with that statement – especially because we still spend many a hours in our favorite libraries -, but that does not take away from the fact that there are more convenient alternatives for traditional libraries – one of them being OverDrive. With OverDrive, you can borrow books, audiobooks, and streaming video from more than 30,000 libraries worldwide, and all you need is a valid account at a participating institution. Forget late fees, as titles borrowed via OverDrive are automatically returned! In case the book you’re looking is not available at any local libraries, you can create wish lists and contact the institutions directly to voice your request.
9NOOK: Read eBooks & Magazines
NOOK (BARNES & NOBLE, WHY ARE YOU SHOUTING? WE ALREADY NOW THAT YOUR COMPANY IS HUGE!), as we’ve just subtly hinted at the fact, is brought to your Android phone by none other than Barnes & Noble, the largest retail bookseller in the US. Using the NOOK app, you can access an only bookstore packed with millions of titles, including interactive picture books for kids and more than 1 million free-to-read books. Broaden your reading horizons with tailor-made recommendations – which get better over time once the app learns your tastes -, enjoy a customizable reading experience with unique features such as Article View for magazines and Zoom View for panel-by-panel comic book reading, and take advantage of 14-day free trials for any magazine or newspaper and the Free Fridays weekly e-book selection! To top it off, NOOK comes equipped with innovative technologies designed specifically for blind and low vision users, a free reading program, and a daily stream of book excerpts, magazine articles, reviews, and book news.
10Astonishing Comic Reader
The days when comic books were thought of as semi-literary oddities aimed at adolescents and immature adults are long gone, so it’s online natural that comic books can now be read on multiple platforms, including Android devices. One of the best apps for reading comic books on your phone or tablet is Astonishing Comic Reader, with which you can read comics on the go (Astonishing supports CBZ and CBR file formats), organize your comic book collection any way you like, create custom wallpapers and snapshots, and make use of the app’s intelligent suggestions system to find comics you must have in your arsenal.