apps

A Couple of Bookish Apps for Literature Lovers

I found these two literature loving apps recently. I wanted to try them out for a little bit before sharing my thoughts (I don’t use my phone for more than telephoning, twittering, audiobooking, and spotifying, so there was a near possibility I would lose interest).

Serial Reader

This app’s mission is to help you read those classics you always wanted to crack, but the idea of dedicating huge swaths of time to conquering Moby-Dick is a hard one to overcome (although, I am an evangelical for the greatness of this novel and now that US publishers insist all novels be 500 pages, this great beast is not so monstrous anymore).

You choose which book or books you are interested in reading and everyday the app delivers a short nugget of the text. Each section is called a serial and besides easily digesting these 9-13 minute sections, the experience is akin to the way readers used to experience fiction when books were serialized in magazines.

Serial Reader is free, but there is a premium version with a few nifty extra features. Once I read through my first book, I’m sure I’ll ante up the $2.99, if anything as a donation to the creator. The app itself is stable, easy to figure out, and crisp. I really appreciate the lack of fuss.

I’m currently reading The Castle of Otranto, which is perfect for serialization. It is an overwrought, glorified soap opera of a novel and receiving daily short chunks is making the reading experience even more engrossing. I can also see Serial Reader’s advantage with texts that have more difficult language; it allows the reader to focus on a portion instead of being overwhelmed by several hundred pages.

COMPLETELY RECOMMEND


 

Litsy

It would be reductive to define Litsy as Goodreads meets Tumblr. Although, it does crib general ideas from both platforms. I love Goodreads, I find it very useful to keep track of what I’m reading and how long it takes to finish a book. Occasionally, I appreciate its algorithmic recommendations. With Tumblr, I am less enthused. I still don’t understand its appeal and consider it a sewer.

So, going in to Litsy I was skeptical because of the latter.

Its user base is not nearly as large as Goodreads, but still has a plentiful base, which includes both individuals and well-known publishing houses. The snippet sharing that is common on Tumblr is far more enjoyable on Litsy. Many of the users have interesting and helpful thoughts about books and for this, the app succeeds at being a venue for finding new reads.

It’s not entirely easy to find new users to follow and can be a little clumsy when it comes to user interaction, but overall, an enjoyable bit of literature love. In the very least, it’s a suitable time waster and it is filled with content that far exceeds the ephemera that makes up Tumblr. It’s not a super-platform like Goodreads, but this isn’t really the intention. It does, however, serve as another place for readers to find recommendations for books that might otherwise elude Goodreads’ algorithm. Also, because the user base is smaller, it’s easier to tame the reviews for a book that would otherwise have thousands on Goodreads.

(It’s free and brought to you by the people behind the Out of Print clothing company.)

RECOMMEND

 

 

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Tools for the Writer

After last week’s post about free podcasts, I started to search around (read: procrastinate) about other technological helpers made for the writer. Now, I haven’t tried any of these yet, but when I have the time, I certainly will. If you use any, please leave a comment with your opinion and experiences. Hopefully, some of these can be useful tools for the writer who needs help organizing or becoming motivated or just is always on the fly that they need a swift place to record their writing. Also, there might be more exceptional programs, but because I fall under the category of “poor writer of no importance,” the programs & podcast I am sharing today are all FREE. Click on the images to access more information. Enjoy!

8David Morley, Director of the Warwick Writing Programme, leads you through a series of creative writing challenges designed to help you develop your creativity and talent as a writer and reader.

 

 

A Novel Idea Use its simple interface to create your characters, locations, scenes, and novels and then link them together to create your story’s plot. Use the Idea feature to quickly jot down your creative sparks and link them to your story elements. Arrange your scenes by dragging and dropping them into place. Add scene goals and objectives for each character.

 

MoleskineThe look and feel are classic Moleskine; the digital capabilities are inspiring. Enjoy all the things you usually do with your Moleskine journals, and send your creations out into the world, page after page.

 

WerdsmithWerdsmith turns your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch into a portable writing studio, so you can write any time, any place.

 

 

Pocket WritersGot a great idea for a story? Then why not write it. Pocket Writers has a simple three-step publishing system. Give us a title, write your story, publish. It really is that easy. You can save your stories as drafts and come back to work on them later.

 

Daily DiaryDaily Diary will make it easy for you to start writing your personal dairy. It has a beautiful interface that will make dairy writing more fun and enjoyable. Daily Diary is safe and efficient. Daily Diary is password protected so that it will be private for you.

 

Flash Fiction PrompterFlash Fiction Prompter is an easy-to-use and simple writing prompter that provides a instant starting point for your Flash Fiction (or other short literary forms) by giving you a random character, setting, and plot, which are the basic ingredients for any story.

 

Chain-StoryCreate. Collaborate. Compete.Did you ever play that writing game at school? You know the one – you write something, pass it on to someone else who continues the story, who then passes it on to another person who gets to see what the previous person wrote, but not what you wrote… and so on. This app is that, but with no paper required. You don’t even have to be in the same country, let alone the same room!