Apps that turn your tablet into a digital library

I read on impulse. If I feel like reading a book, I immediately search for it on my book rack. Mostly, I find my impulse evaporating before I find the book. Now, with my Google Nexus 7, I can find any book I want instantly.

Reading a real book feels different from reading a digital one, but there are benefits in having your own digital library. Now, read about the apps that have turned my Android tablet into a digital library. Let us begin with E-BOOK READERS:

Kindle

Kindle is my favourite app. Designed for Kindle Ebook Readers, it is available for Android tablets (also for Apple devices) and smartphones. With a Kindle account, you can download and read hundreds of free ebooks from the Kindle store. You can also send your personal ebooks and documents to your Kindle email address and get them converted to your account automatically. The converted documents will be available on your Kindle account on Amazon.com.

Store and organize your ebooks, bookmark pages, highlight important paragraphs and add notes – the Kindle app supports all these functions. Select a word by gently pressing on it and an in-built dictionary pops up to provide you with the meaning and reference. It helps you spend more time reading and less time searching for meanings. You can change font type and sizes as per convenience.

Flipping through pages is easy and fast. You can set screen brightness and change background colour from white to black or sepia. Thousands of ebooks on your handy device, and all your notes for instant reference — that’s what Kindle is all about.

Classics available for free include: `The Brothers Karamzov’, `Crime and Punishment’, `Sons and Lovers’ and `Pride and Prejudice’.

Night Mode: Unlike regular ebook readers, tablets have backlight support and bright screen, which make it difficult to read for lengthy periods of time. Here is an app called Night Mode that allows setting the brightness level to your comfort. You can read books even in darkness. These apps are available on Google Play store.

Google Play Books

Google has recently enabled access to Google Books for Indian users. Google Play has millions of downloadable ebooks including free and public domain documents. Like the Kindle app, this too has day, night and sepia background themes. When you flip pages in this app, you feel you are turning pages of a real book.

An option ‘Reading aloud’ turns this app as an audio-book reader. With this, instead of reading, you can listen to a book.

Play Books has an in-built dictionary but the one in Kindle app is better as it gives detailed explanations. Viewing chapters, bookmarks and notes is easy in Play Books as it has a separate dropdown option.

Kobo

Reading in Kobo can be a social experience. It has a Facebook login and you can share your reading activity with your friends. You can also comment and share views with Kobo community.

Aldiko

Aldiko has no dictionary support. When you click on dictionary, it takes you to web browser. Also, highlighting and note-making options only come with its premium version. There are many other similar reading apps available in the Google Play store. Install them, experiment with them, and finally you can decide which are suitable for you.

AUDIO BOOK APPs
With your Android device you can not only read but also listen to your favourite books. With audio book apps, give your eyes some rest. Audio books are great pastime while travelling. For those learning English as their second language, audio book apps are a medium of learning language and accent. The following apps provide hundreds of free audio books.

1. LibriVox Audio Books
2. Audio Books

Apart from these two, there are other apps such as Audible for Android and MortPlayer Audio Books. Get these apps at Google Play Store.

With these apps you can access live streaming audio online or even download them. Audio-books of different categories like literature, mathematics, science, biography and others are available. These are the results of efforts by volunteers who recorded, edited and made them available for free.

Books available for free include: `Emma’, `The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’, `The War of the Worlds’ and `Hard Times’.

NEWS READER APPs

Here are mobile magazine apps that collate news and articles and present them in readable style.

1. Flipboard
2. Google Currents
3. Pulse

Add RSS feeds, Twitter or Facebook updates from prominent news magazines into these apps, and they render the content readable in a simple and elegant interface. News stories and articles appear in sections such as cover stories, sports, entertainment, science and technology. You can share stories on social media with a click. Find these apps at Google Play Store.

Raghava Maitreya

Journalist, Writer, Poet, life and business strategist, living in Bangalore, India. Connect with me on Twitter - @RaghavaMaitreya Write to me - raghavawrites@gmail.com