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5 Books Apps Made in California
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5 Books Apps Made in California

You no longer need to carry around heavy books or even think about library storage solutions; all you need is a great book app.

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5 min read

August 24, 2021

Reading books looks very different today than what it did a couple of years ago. The pleasure you get from reading is the same, but the medium has changed—a lot. While flipping through hard copies has a certain appeal of its own, no one can deny the upsides of having an expanse of literature at your fingertips with the help of book apps. Whether it’s tuning in and listening to an audiobook on your daily commute or getting the latest and hottest recommendations through a subscription service, ebook apps are reshaping a whole generation of readers, and that’s something we simply cannot deny.

You no longer need to carry around heavy books or even think about library storage solutions; all you need is a great book app and you have access to a world of the best poets and authors of today and yesterday only a click away.

Goodreads is a social cataloging website that allows individuals to search its database of books, annotations, quotes, and reviews.

Goodreads

Starting off with a book app that’s already probably familiar to you, Goodreads is every bibliophile’s favorite app. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Goodreads app is a necessity at this point for all literature lovers. The app allows users to search its database of more than 12 million books, annotations, quotes, and reviews. One of the founders got the idea for the app while browsing through his friend’s bookshelf. He apparently wanted to create a space where people could virtually scan each other’s bookshelves and write reviews regarding the books they read. Long story short, Goodreads was born.

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A fun and interactive book reading app, Goodreads helps you stay on top of your reading list by participating in challenges, reading book reviews, getting updates on your friend's reading lists, getting personalized recommendations, voting for your favorite books in the annual Goodreads Choice Awards, and more. If you’re not on the Goodreads app yet, download it right now and see what your friends are raving about—you might find your next favorite book through the app.

Scribd's ebook subscription service is available on Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, as well as the Kindle Fire, Nook, and personal computers.

Scribd

Scribd is another awesome San Francisco-based ebook app you should know about. Founder Trip Adler was motivated to create the Scribd app after learning about the prolonged process required to publish academic papers—this was based on his father’s experience. The initial concept of Scribd began as a website where users can share and host documents. This idea immediately landed with its audience, and Scribd received 23.5 million visitors in its first year. Soon enough, the app earned the nickname “the Youtube for documents” since anyone was allowed to self-publish on the site.

Today, Scribd is known for being an awesome ebook subscription service as well as one of the best audiobook apps on the market—did we mention that the app also features comic books? Nowadays, 80 million people use the Scribd app. Users have access to millions of original titles and more than a whopping 60 million documents.

Commaful lets you read bite-sized romance, thrillers, horror, scary stories, blog posts, and poetry for free; they're perfect for quick breaks.

Commaful

Ever heard of the Commaful app? People are describing it as the online platform “where the Instagram generation goes to share and discover stories.” Confused? Here’s the gist of what this app is about. A free books app powered by the community, Commaful includes a large array of fanfiction, short stories, poetry, and more, all shared in a picture book-style format. Commonly used by professional writers such as bestselling authors and screenwriters, as well as amateur creators who are just starting out, Commaful is a great space to share and read works of other creative fiction writers.

The ultimate goal of the Commaful app is to help fiction appear everywhere. Just like influencers gain a cult following on photo-sharing apps like Instagram, Commaful wants to give writers the chance to grow their creator base and audience. If you’re a writer yourself, hop on the app and you might find yourself on a writer’s to-watch list not too far down the road.

The mission of LibriVox Audio Books is to make all books in the public domain available for free in audio format on the internet.

LibriVox Audio Books

LibriVox is a community-driven app that encourages volunteers all over the world to read and record public domain literature and expand its library of free audiobooks. As one of the best audiobook apps on the market, LibriVox is simplifying the process of reading and recording audiobooks, and ultimately making them available for a wide audience. Whether you want to listen to audiobooks or volunteer virtually to help make audiobooks available for the public, you should definitely download this free books app. 

LibriVox is closely affiliated with the Internet Archive and Project Gutenberg, where it gets some of its texts from. While most of the releases on the app are in English, you'll find audiobooks in a variety of other languages on the website as well. The biggest downside to this app would probably be the quality of some of the voice recordings. Because it is volunteer-driven and free, not everything is thoroughly checked and recorded in a studio. But nevertheless, its accessibility and wide availability at zero cost make it one of the best audiobook apps.

Download Apple Books, join Oprah’s new book club, keep track of what you're reading, and listen to enthralling audiobooks.

Apple Books

Apple's own books app is perhaps an obvious entry on the list, but it’s one of the best available options on the market, and we couldn’t help but include it. A one-stop-shop for all things literature, the Apple Books app has a rich library of all the books you love and the ones that have been on your reading list for a while now.

Browse the shelves of the app’s online bookstore, keep track of what you’ve read and what you want to read, join as many book clubs as you like, and listen to a large library of awesome audiobooks—all in one place. If you’re an author, use the app to discover free tips, tricks, and marketing tools to better promote your book. The resources for writers on this ebook app are also amazing. Basically, Apple Books is exactly what you’ve been looking for all this time.

The biggest downside of Apple Books is the fact that it’s only available for iOS. But don’t worry, you’ll definitely find android-friendly alternatives to this app—almost all of the other book apps featured work well with both operating systems.

Which book app do you frequently use? Let us know in the comments below.

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