The more avid bookworms among us know that reading is not just an activity; it’s a lifestyle, affecting what you wear, how you interact on social media, what podcasts you listen to, and what you talk about with your friends. But what platforms allow you to track your reading and reviews, divorced from certain bog-box retailers?
Here at Libro.fm, we’re recommending 10 of the best apps and websites to help you live an amazing bookish life (and support small businesses!).
BookClub is a platform that connect readers to author-led conversations. They offer a free subscription to create custom reading lists, explore their library of titles and authors, and chat with authors and readers in private virtual events. The premium subscription includes the ability to participate in all author and influencer-led book clubs, watch exclusive author interviews, learn about an author’s writing process, and more! Some current series are hosted by Nicole Ellis, Belletrist, and Barbara Corcoran, and there are author-led clubs with the likes of Clint Smith, Noé Álvarez, Arlan Hamilton, and Mikki Kendall.
Cost: Ranges from free to $9/month
If you’ve ever been in a book club, you know all too well the long email chains and group messages that come with it. The folks at Bookclubs knew there could be a better way, so they created it. Through their website, you can create a book club, email invites to everyone, easily collect RSVPs, poll your members to select books and meeting dates, rate reads, explore discussion guides, and more! And even better, it’s free.
When you want a new book, your first stop should be your local bookstore (in-person or online) or library—but in a crunch, Bookshop.org is your next best option. They provide a seamless book-buying experience that kicks 10% to 30% of profits back to independent bookstores, while handling the inventory and shipping.
Cost: Dependent on how many books you buy
Bookly bills itself as “your reading assistant”, and that’s exactly what it is. You can add a book by scanning its ISBN or searching for it online, and then track your reading — just click “start” and “stop”, enter the page number or the percentage you’ve got to, and Bookly spits out pretty graphs and statistics about how long it takes you to read a page and how much longer it will be before you finish your book. There’s even a section for recording thoughts and quotes, and you can set up monthly and weekly goals and unlock various achievements.
Libby is a user-friendly way to borrow ebooks and audiobooks from your local library, and also to place holds if they’re not immediately available. If you’re out and about, you can stream your borrowed books using mobile data until you’re on WiFi, when they’ll be downloaded automatically. And no need to worry about late fees — your books will be returned automatically on their due date. The app was created by OverDrive, which also offers a student reading app.
Libib allows users to catalog all their media, including books, movies, music, and video games. You can also leave notes, import/export your libraries, and tag content. According to Amber, a Libib user, “It helps me keep track of the books/movies I already own, so I don’t duplicate purchases” and would also be helpful in case of an emergency that caused loss of that media.
Cost: Ranges from free to $9/month
Hi! That’s us. Libro.fm is the alternative to that other audiobook company out there — you know the one. It costs the same for a membership — $14.99 USD per month— but instead of contributing to the fortune of a billionaire, you get to choose an independent bookstore to share in the profit generated by the sale. In the app, you can download using WiFi or mobile data, test out a wide range of listening speeds, explore playlists, implement dark mode, redeem credits (iOS-only), and more. Booksellers, educators, librarians, and influencers can access Advanced Listening Copies of new-release audiobooks. Our catalog of 250,000+ audiobooks is available across genres, and in a myriad of languages.
Cost: Free apps, $14.99 for membership
Readerly is new to the book discovery game, and with a fresh mission—not to sell books, they say, but to “help readers discover great books and support the creators, publishers, and booksellers who nourish the writer-to-reader chain.” Books are recommended by like-minded readers, and books that you interact with (i.e. save, hide, or mark as read) are removed from your feed to make more room for hidden gems. Oh, and they nixed the 5-star rating system. Download the app (iOS, Android) to join the waiting list!
The StoryGraph is a tool to help readers find their next—well, story. Users can take a brief survey about their reading preferences based on genres, themes, mood, and more. From there, The StoryGraph recommend the books in their database most suited to those preferences. Their site also offers reading challenges to get you started and a community board where you can see what other users are reading in real-time. Download the app here.
Cost: Ranges from free to $4.99/month
Wattpad is a great place to discover writers, read some fanfiction, and interact with authors as they upload their stories in installments. There’s a free version, and there are lots of stories you can read without spending any money. You can browse by genre ; YA and romance are big there (and werewolf lit is its own category), but you’ll also find thrillers, mystery, nonfiction, poetry, and more! Read away, while helping new writers get discovered.
Cost: Ranges from free, $4.99/month and $7.49/month
Know of another bookworm-friendly app or website?
Let us know in the comments!