Must-own apps for the bibliophile in all of us [Roundup]

Words speak.

They have voices that resonate from within, rather than echoing out. Words take you to far off galaxies or worlds where the power of electricity was never harnessed. Worlds of wizardry and time travel and romance and dragons. Words are what transform raw emotion into poetry, and give substance to messages from Dreamland. Words are what separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom.

Melodramatic, right?

Hopefully it kept you reading, though; for this week’s Roundup, I gathered a few of my favorite e-readers for your downloading pleasure. There are number of obvious ones, and a couple you might not expect.

And so, without further tangential verbosity, I present you with AndroidGuys’ favorite e-readers.


Play Books, by Google

This is one of the obvious ones – I’d be remiss in my Google Fanboy duties if I didn’t include Google’s excellent e-reader app, which not only allows the access of ebooks but also the perusal of a vast collection of purchasable literature – from poetry, to novels (both literary and graphical in nature), to comic books (which should not be confused with the aforementioned graphic novels). Google’s e-reader app may not have the name recognition or quite the selection of Amazon’s, but don’t let that stop you from giving it a long, hard look.


Kindle, by Amazon

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Another obvious one. For a while there, Kindle was the only real option for purchasing digital literary content. And while it’s no longer the only player in the game, it’s still top dog – especially with that gift that keeps on giving, Amazon Prime. Kindle sports a number of innovative features, including Word Runner – a feature that aims to increase your reading speed by flashing words on your screen at an increasingly fast pace – and Word Wise, which expands your vocabulary by defining tough words for you as you reach them. It also lets you pull popular quotes directly from the books you’re reading, which I find extremely valuable on occasion. When it comes to e-reader apps, Kindle is still the name to beat.

NOTE: Kindle is also a platform of hardware sold specifically for use with Kindle books – Amazon has a pretty strong selection of devices across many price points to fit any budget, from the brand new Kindle Oasis (starting at $289) to the currently-on-sale classic Kindle ($60).


ComiXology, by Amazon

All my life, I’ve heard that comics aren’t literature; from teachers, from family, from anyone older the age of 30, really. But I insist that comics and graphic novels can be every bit as artistic as are novels by the greats. Is every one a masterpiece? No – but neither is every book that comes along. Classic graphic novels like Watchmen and The Killing Joke are classic pieces of storytelling, and more recent favorites like Saga truly are masterpieces.

But I digress.

ComiXology is, at its core, Kindle for comics; a combination e-reader/library/store built for the expressed purpose of enjoying comics and graphic novels. Prices range from reasonable to exorbitant, as one would expect, but on occasion you can find a hidden gem for a song. If you’re looking to get started with comics but are overwhelmed by the sheer variety of content, I highly recommend giving the above three a shot; you can’t go wrong with those.


POETRY, by Poetry Foundation

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Between Kindle and Play Books, you have access to more than enough novels to last a lifetime. POETRY, however, gives you something different; access to thousands of classic and contemporary poems of all sorts. POETRY lets you search for poems by line, randomly select a poem to fit a specific mood, or download your favorites. Kindle and Play Books give you access to collections of poems that you often have to pay for – POETRY turns your phone into a database of emotive words.


Audiobooks, by Audible

Not everyone has time to sit down and a read a book. Between work, school, commute times, family, relationships – whatever – we rarely have time for leisurely reading. Sometimes, though, we might have time to listen to one. Audible is the foremost provider of audiobooks, with thousands of books over dozens of genres to choose from. Persistent bookmarks mean you never have to look for your place, regardless of which device you’re listening on, and variable speed narration lets you find the perfect speed to which you can listen to your books.


There you have it; in my opinion, the best apps for getting your daily fill of literary content, whatever your medium of choice may be. Think I missed one? Have a better recommendation? Maybe you just wanna pitch your favorite piece for others to read – leave us a comment below.