5 Apps to Increase Your Digital Reading Habits

Image courtesy of adamr /  FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

To say that I enjoy books and reading is an understatement. To those that know me well, it is no surprise to hear me squealing in excitement over a book, or raving about an intriguing article. Although I will always have a soft spot for physical reading material, I've been looking for ways to simplify my reading habits by going digital. The following is a list of apps I currently use on my iPad Mini, with most also available on Android.

  1. Flipboard - Easily one of the best reading apps. Add your favourite blogs, RSS feeds, or connect your Google Reader. It creates a simple mosaic of your subscriptions, perfect for distraction-free reading.
  2. Pocket - Paired perfectly with the previous app. Pocket instantly downloads articles, images, and videos that you send to it. I don't have time to read through all my subscriptions, and will usually browse through Flipboard for interesting articles, send it to Pocket by tapping 'Read Later', and easily enjoy them on the bus or skytrain. Ahh, simplicity.
  3. Zinio - Ten years ago, if you had told me I could carry hundreds of magazines in my purse, I'd think you were insane. With this app, I have all my favourites to read. A bonus tip for other starving students like me: check your city or university library for free access! I had put off on using this app, as I knew I wouldn't want to spend money on magazine subscriptions. Browsing my local library's website the other day, and they were offering free access to the magazines. This adds to the many reasons why I love the library.
  4. OverDrive Media Console - My local library uses this app to issue their eBooks and audiobooks. Borrowing reading material from them has become even simpler.
  5. OneClickDigital - Another resource provided by my local library. What differs this app from the one above, is that there is no waiting time for the eBook or audiobook to be 'returned' by other readers. Instant download. My initial impression was that their collection didn't have many books I was interested in, but browsing through it this morning, it seems that it is growing.

There are three things these apps have in common which are important to me: simple - minimalistic user interface and no ads, accessible - offline reading, affordable - most apps and reading materials mentioned are free. Otherwise, use your resources, and find out if your city or university provides free or subsidized access.

I'm still discovering other digital tools. What are some of your favourite reading apps? 

(Sidenote - This is my first blog post in nineteen months! Currently working on the direction of my blog. Personal or professional? Broad in topics or specific? We'll soon find out. )