Have books, will travel - Weekend

Have books, will travel

By Meg Rivera

WITH summer upon us, visions of idyllic days spent doing nothing are dancing through our minds. Some people fantasise about lounging by a poolside, laying prone to soak up the sun. Others finally have time to catch up on that video game that they left when exams started. A friend had commented that with the summer holidays, finally came extra time to start reading again.

This was a solid thought. My idea of the perfect summer day is spent sipping at a fruity cocktail lounging on a chair by the pool. I would also have the latest Terry Pr
atchett on my lap, losing myself in a universe of creatures and sullen fairies. This week, let’s have a look at a few apps that can help point out some good titles to spend your summer on. Don’t let those brain cells rot; read a few books and help keep them sharp during the summer.

amazon-icon

App name: Amazon Mobile

App developer: AMZN Mobile LLC

Available on: iTunes, Google Play

Easy to use: The drop-down menus featured in the UI design take a lot of the guesswork out of finding what you want on the site. Not difficult to figure out at all!

Overall comment: I realise that Amazon is the online equivalent of Carbon market; you will find everything there. The book section of Amazon features titles with comprehensive reviews and the chance to preview the book before purchasing it. For those with e-readers, Amazon can download the title straight to your device if you decide that you like the preview enough to keep reading it. Functional and informative, three clicks out of five.

literary-review-iconApp name: Literary Review

App developer: Exact Editions Ltd

Available on: iTunes, Google Play

Easy to use: It opens with iOS’ “Newsstand” app, but from there it’s pretty easy to navigate. It’s just a matter of swiping back and forth.

Overall comment: This magazine from the UK doesn’t review good literature, it provides it. Each issue contains a set of stories, articles and short essays sent in by contributors. If you’re wanting to get your mitts on some unique reading content, this is definitely the place to start. The “Newsstand” app does most of the work for you, all you need to do is read. Three clicks out of five.

goodreads-iconApp name: Goodreads

App developer: Goodreads

Available on: iTunes, Google Play

Easy to use: You need an account with goodreads.com to be able to store book titles, reviews and the like. However, if your main purpose for using this app is to read reviews, then you can skip creating an account.

Overall comment: Never mind that you need an account: this is how Goodreads maintains its quality in book recommendations in both its UI and content. The user-generated nature of the reviews ensures that you are getting reviews from real people, and not from publishers writing blurbs. Its Search feature lets you look books up, handy if you’re wanting to get a title and checking if it’s worth paying for. Three clicks out of five.

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