TouchMyApps » Books http://www.touchmyapps.com All Things iPhone and iPad for those who like to Touch. iOS App reviews, News, New Apps, Price Drops and App Gone Free Tue, 23 Sep 2014 21:31:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.4 Listen to unlimited audiobooks on your iDevice for $24.95/month with Audiobooks.com http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/09/05/listen-to-unlimited-audiobooks-on-your-idevice-for-24-95month-with-audiobooks-com/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/09/05/listen-to-unlimited-audiobooks-on-your-idevice-for-24-95month-with-audiobooks-com/#comments Wed, 05 Sep 2012 17:36:15 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=69700 Listening to audiobooks is sort of an acquired taste for some folks. I know it was for me, and it wasn’t until after experiencing several did I really begin to enjoy them. In fact, I listen to books way more than I read them nowadays, as I find it to be a great companion when … Read more]]>

Listening to audiobooks is sort of an acquired taste for some folks. I know it was for me, and it wasn’t until after experiencing several did I really begin to enjoy them. In fact, I listen to books way more than I read them nowadays, as I find it to be a great companion when I’m driving or in bed while getting my daily fix of Drop7. There are several ways of buying audiobooks for your iPhone (iTunes and Audible), though they can be expensive and do add up in cost. Enter Audiobooks.com, a site that offers unlimited audiobooks for $24.95/month. And with their recently released iOS app, you can stream or download unlimited books from over 10,000 of best sellers and new releases (Stephen King, Hunger Games Trilogy, Steve Jobs Autobiography…sorry, no 50 Shades of Grey). Their selection pales in comparison to Audible, but if you can find enough authors/books in their library that you like, the price of admission may be worth it. If this sounds intriguing, you can sign up for a free 7 day free trial to test out their service on your iDevice.

As for the Audiobooks.com app, you can stream books instantly via 3G or WiFi for your listening pleasure, or download them for offline use (up to 2 at a time). A handy automatic bookmarking feature makes sure that you won’t lose your place when a call comes through or when the app is closed. This extents across devices, so you can jump from your iPhone to your iPad and not have to scrub your way and manually find your last position in the book.

You can head over to Audiobooks.com and browse through their catalog, as well as featured sections.

Audiobooks Audiobooks.com, Audiobooks - Free

Press Release

Audiobooks.com Rolls Out Free Apple and Android Apps

Unique Audio Books Service Delivers Unlimited Downloads for Just $24.95 a Month

TORONTO, CANADA – August 29, 2012 – Audiobooks.com, the only audio books service that gives customers unlimited access to downloadable content for just $24.95 per month, today announced that free Apple and Android apps are now available to Audiobooks.com members. Customers can now download or stream audio books that they can enjoy anytime, anywhere on their mobile devices with a free app at Apple’s App Store for iPhones, iPod Touch and iPads or at Google Play for Android devices.

Members who want to enjoy audio books on the go can download up to two audio books at a time on their mobile device. The new apps are designed to give members maximum flexibility, providing custom settings so users can automatically stream or download books via wi-fi or cellular networks and save books to their personal reading list so they’ll always have an audio book to enjoy. The Audiobooks.com library contains 10,000-plus best sellers and new releases, including popular titles like The Hunger Games trilogy, and the library is constantly adding new titles.

“Audiobooks.com is committed to providing members with access to unlimited audio books instantly, anywhere,” said Ian Small, General Manager of Audiobooks.com. “Members can use the apps to download audio books and listen to them wherever they are with their mobile devices.”

One unique Audiobooks.com innovation is an automatic bookmarking feature that ensures users never lose their place; users can always pick up wherever they left off – across all devices. Always responsive to customer needs, Audiobooks.com has also added a sleep timer to meet member demand. This allows users to set a time when they want to enjoy an audio book after they turn in for the night and ensure that the audio book won’t continue playing indefinitely if they fall asleep.

Unlike competitor audio book apps, the Audiobooks.com apps for Apple and Android products enable both downloads and streaming content, and members have access to all the audio books they want for just $24.95 per month: There are no restrictions on the number of audio books users can download or stream.

Another unique Audiobooks.com feature is the apps’ integration with user device native operating system functionality, which gives Audiobooks.com apps the ability to automatically pause listening when the user receives a phone call. The apps let users browse and play book previews without logging in, and the apps are designed to optimize 3G/cellular usage.

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Dr. Seuss Apps On SALE To Celebrate Dr. Seuss’s Birthday http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/03/02/dr-seuss-apps-on-sale-to-celebrate-dr-seusss-birthday/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/03/02/dr-seuss-apps-on-sale-to-celebrate-dr-seusss-birthday/#comments Fri, 02 Mar 2012 16:45:28 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=66894 Today, March 2nd, is Dr. Seuss’ birthday (as well as Read Across America Day) and to celebrate Oceanhouse Media is launching a sale for 25 Dr. Seuss digital books on iOS and Android, with prices ranging from $0.99 to $2.99. Some of the more notable apps include Horton Hears a Who! ($2.99), The Cat in the Hat ($1.99) and The … Read more]]>

Today, March 2nd, is Dr. Seuss’ birthday (as well as Read Across America Day) and to celebrate Oceanhouse Media is launching a sale for 25 Dr. Seuss digital books on iOS and Android, with prices ranging from $0.99 to $2.99. Some of the more notable apps include Horton Hears a Who! ($2.99), The Cat in the Hat ($1.99) and The Lorax ($0.99). In addition, the virtual tree growing game Lorax Garden is now available to download for free. This of course, also coincides with the theatrical release of the animated The Lorax movie today.

For the complete listing of Dr. Seuss apps on sale, which runs thru March 8th, head on over to Oceanhouse Media’s webpage for more info. Video trailer highlighting the Dr. Seuss apps and press release after the gap.

Press Release

Oceanhouse Media, Inc. today announced that it will drop the price of The Lorax omBook (Oceanhouse Media digital book) to 99 cents and offer the Lorax Garden game for free from March 2nd through 8th in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday and Read Across America Day. In addition, 25 Dr. Seuss omBooks will be on sale ranging in price from 99 cents to $2.99 on iOS and Android markets.

The National Education Association’s Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss.

“This is a great time to stock up on classic titles such as The Lorax, The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham and Dr. Seuss’s ABC for your mobile devices,” said Michel Kripalani, President of Oceanhouse Media. “All Dr. Seuss omBooks include the original content and illustrations by Dr. Seuss and are enhanced with professional narration, background audio and features that promote reading and word recognition.”

The omBooks feature three options: Auto Play (geared toward younger readers), which plays like a movie by automatically reading and turning pages; Read To Me, which allows users to listen to the narrated story with words highlighted as they are read; and Read It Myself, which lets users read the book in its traditional format.

Dr. Seuss omBooks are consistently ranked at the top of the app charts, with nine reaching the number one spot in the Books category on Apple’s App Store. Recent releases include If I Ran the Zoo and And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, Dr. Seuss’s first children’s book.

For a list of Dr. Seuss omBooks on sale for the birthday celebration, visit the Oceanhouse Media website starting March 2 at http://www.oceanhousemedia.com/products/type/sale/drseuss/. In addition to Lorax Garden, Dr. Seuss Band, the Dr. Seuss musical instrument game, is also available for free.

About Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Creators of the award-winning Dr. Seuss book apps, Oceanhouse Media, Inc. is a leading publisher of more than 300 mobile apps for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch), Android, NOOK Color, NOOK Tablet, Kindle Fire and HP TouchPad devices. The company was founded in early 2009 by Michel Kripalani, a veteran of the video gaming industry. Seventeen of the company’s apps have reached the number one spot within their categories on Apple’s App Store. In addition, Google has selected the company as one of its Top Developers, a designation granted to only 150 groups worldwide.

Oceanhouse Media’s corporate focus is to uplift, educate and inspire through technology. For more information, visithttp://www.oceanhousemedia.com. Follow the company at http://www.facebook.com/OceanhouseMedia andhttp://twitter.com/OceanhouseMedia.

About Dr. Seuss Enterprise, L.P.

Dr. Seuss Enterprises was founded in 1993 following the death of Theodor S. Geisel, Dr. Seuss, to conserve and nurture the works of Dr. Seuss by protecting the integrity of the Dr. Seuss books while expanding beyond books into licensed merchandise. The licensing effort is a strategic part of the overall effort to strengthen and protect the relationship consumers have with Dr. Seuss characters. Theodor Geisel said he never wanted to license his characters to anyone who would “round out the edges”. That is one of the guiding philosophies of Dr. Seuss Enterprises.

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iBooks updates to 1.5, adds night mode, new fonts and more http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/12/07/ibooks-updates-to-1-5-adds-night-mode-new-fonts-and-more/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/12/07/ibooks-updates-to-1-5-adds-night-mode-new-fonts-and-more/#comments Wed, 07 Dec 2011 13:02:46 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=61931 Apple’s iBooks app has just been updated to version 1.5 and one of the most requested features is finally here – night reading mode. With it, bookworms can now comfortably use iBooks in the dark thanks to the black background and white text. Here’s the complete list of what’s new: Nighttime reading theme makes reading … Read more]]>

Apple’s iBooks app has just been updated to version 1.5 and one of the most requested features is finally here – night reading mode. With it, bookworms can now comfortably use iBooks in the dark thanks to the black background and white text. Here’s the complete list of what’s new:

  • Nighttime reading theme makes reading books in the dark easier on the eyes.
  • Full-screen layout lets you focus on the words without distraction.
  • iBooks now features an improved selection of fonts, including Athelas, Charter, Iowan, and Seravek.
  • Beautiful new classic covers for public domain books.
  • A redesigned annotation palette makes it easier to choose a color for your highlighted text.

If iBooks is your go-to e-reader on the iDevice, be sure to grab this free update and check out the new goodies. And if you missed it earlier, see how you can use Dropbox to store and transfer your ebooks to apps like iBooks and Stanza in our recent tutorial.

iBooks Apple, iBooks, – Free

App Description

iBooks is an amazing way to download and read books. iBooks includes the iBookstore, where you can download the latest best-selling books or your favorite classics – day or night. Browse your library on a beautiful bookshelf, tap a book to open it, flip through pages with a swipe or a tap, and bookmark or add notes to your favorite passages.

Features:

• Download many of your favorite books from the included iBookstore.
• Read a free sample of any book on the iBookstore before making it a part of your collection.
• Reorder your books on your bookshelf or browse them in a list sorted by title, author, or category.
• Organize your books and PDFs into personal Collections. Swipe left or right to jump between Collections.
• Easily adjust your screen brightness to find the perfect lighting for any environment.
• Change the font size and pick from six included type faces to make your books more comfortable to read.
• Find a word, character, or phrase anywhere in your book with the built-in search feature.
• Keep your bookmarks, notes, and your current page wirelessly in sync between iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch with the new automatic bookmark syncing feature.
• Quickly find a specific page using the page navigator at the bottom of every page.
• Read your books on white or sepia colored pages.
• Choose left or fully justified text layout from Settings.
• Highlight your favorite passages and add notes with the built-in bookmarking features.
• Add books in the industry-standard ePub electronic book format to iTunes and sync them to iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
• Add PDF documents to iBooks from Mail, or add them to iTunes and sync them to iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
• Print PDF documents and notes you’ve written in iBooks using AirPrint.
• Use iBooks with the amazing accessibility features in iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch – such as speaking the words on a given page.

Requirements:

• iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad, iPod touch (2nd generation), iPod touch (3rd generation), or iPod touch (4th generation) is required.
• iPhone or iPod touch must have iOS 4 or later.
• The iBookstore is available in many countries. The selection of books in the iBookstore may vary by country.
• An Apple ID is required to download from the iBookstore.
• Automatic bookmark syncing requires an active Wi-Fi or cellular data connection and an Apple ID.
• iBooks only opens books published in the ePub electronic book format or documents in the PDF format.
• To add ePub books from outside the iBookstore to iBooks, they must be DRM-free and synced using iTunes 9.2 or later.
• Some PDF documents may not be compatible with iBooks.

 

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CIA: Operation Ajax now available for the iPad…and It’s Free (for a limited time) http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/16/cia-operation-ajax-now-available-for-the-ipad-and-its-free-for-a-limited-time/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/16/cia-operation-ajax-now-available-for-the-ipad-and-its-free-for-a-limited-time/#comments Wed, 16 Nov 2011 21:05:06 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=60795 After over a year in the making, CIA : Operation Ajax, an ambitious interactive graphic novel brought to you by Cognito Comics, is finally out on the App Store. Designed specifically for the iPad, Operation Ajax tells the story of the Iranian Coup (backed by the CIA) during the early 50′s, and it’s based on … Read more]]>

After over a year in the making, CIA : Operation Ajax, an ambitious interactive graphic novel brought to you by Cognito Comics, is finally out on the App Store. Designed specifically for the iPad, Operation Ajax tells the story of the Iranian Coup (backed by the CIA) during the early 50′s, and it’s based on the book All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror by Stephen Kinzer. The graphic novel is 210 pages long and features moving animations, ambient sound effect, bonus content (character dossiers, historial newsreels, authentic declassified docs from the CIA etc) and even its own original musical score. This is certainly not your typical comic book in the form of an app. Best of all, Operation Ajax is currently free for the next two week, after which the $7.99 price tag kicks in. If you have an iPad, this is defintely worth checking out, especially now that it’s a freebie. Video demo after the break.

CIA : Operation Ajax Cognito Comics, CIA : Operation Ajax, – Free

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Eight apps for a broken arm http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/06/15/eight-apps-for-a-broken-arm/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/06/15/eight-apps-for-a-broken-arm/#comments Wed, 15 Jun 2011 11:40:23 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=53484 After breaking my arm a couple of months ago, I learned a bit of biology. Bones are serious buggers, you know; they don’t just Lego into place after snapping. But even at 31 and five fingers down, I applied myself very fastidiously to apps that I could use one-handed. At first, they may seem eclectic, … Read more]]>

After breaking my arm a couple of months ago, I learned a bit of biology. Bones are serious buggers, you know; they don’t just Lego into place after snapping. But even at 31 and five fingers down, I applied myself very fastidiously to apps that I could use one-handed. At first, they may seem eclectic, but I assure you that they were the best medicine. If you’re intent on joining my club, send in your resumes, apply something heavy/swift to your long bones, and then follow the gap!

Stanza

After being unimpressed by Apple’s fancy with superfluous effects, poor typography, and piss-poor real book emulation, I quickly opted for simpler alternatives. Stanza still remains my favourite reading app. It is easy to use, backed by tens of thousands of free books, and boasts good text effects and resizing options for reading both indoors and outdoors. For member of my club, its button placement and navigation is great, but you don’t have to break an arm to enjoy it. The best part? It’s free.

Stanza Lexcycle, Stanza, 10.01MB – Free

Need help with Stanza? Try TMA’s how to transfer article.

WordBook

If breaking an arm wasn’t hard enough, my favourite reference, Enfour’s Oxford Deluxe English Dictionary, went on the fritz with a new update, deciding not to boot on my iPod touch 4G. Bugger. In the meantime, the already excellent WordBook kept hitting with good updates, good interface, and a much better save and export engine. Oxford has the upper hand as a reference, but now comes 2nd when I just want to dig into definitions, synonyms, and save and print my bookmarks. For the price and convenience, there is no better English dictionary. If you’re shy an arm or a couple of fingers, WordBook plays nice. You can annotate, bookmark, flip through daily vocab, and have a jolly good time with just one hand.

WordBook English Dictionary & Thesaurus TranCreative Software, WordBook English Dictionary & Thesaurus (TMA Review), 19.99MB – $1.99

WritingTips

Written by bestselling author, Alice Kuipers, WritingTips is nothing more than a collection and exercises of tips in any of eight categories. Its design isn’t great, and some of the tips are doubtless oldies, but it’s compact; everything comes under one, pithy roof. If you can get over the poor typesetting, constantly changing text sizes, and strange framing, there is a lot to enjoy about WritingTips. Because WritingTips sports such a simple interface, it is easy to pick up and put down without ever lifting another arm.

Writing Tips Rich Lowenberg, Writing Tips, 2.82MB – $0.99

Pages

Well, there are a lot of great writing apps out there, but Pages is the one I turn to most. Why? Compatibility and overall polish. I don’t like Apple’s strange insistence on the emulation of analogue items in a digital app, but otherwise, pages responds faster, and is easier to use than many other productivity apps, especially if you plan to add photos or other media. There are myriad small user-interface issues, but each iteration gets better. On my iPad, Pages can relax with me next to my pillow in any screen orientation I see fit, and operates wonderfully one-handed. Writing is slow – that can’t be helped when half of your team plays hooky – but it is much easier than dragging a mouse or touchpad and jumping to the keyboard.

Pages Apple®, Pages, 87.90MB – $9.99

Instagram


While not as sexy as a real polaroid, Instagram sure sets the barn on fire by emulating great photo frames, and allowing you to share with all your friends on your favourite social networks. I love this app. For the broken handed, Instagram’s thumb-driven interface is simple genius. Even adding a couple of effects or frames can be done easily with just a lap and a thumb.
Instagram Burbn, Inc., Instagram, 6.77MB – Free

Photogene

This app is a life-saver. Strapped into my upper-arm-down cast, even sitting up hurt. Forget Lightroom and Photoshop. Forget Photomatrix Pro. Photogene has gotten better and better each iteration. Today, it can export my photos in full resolution, has a rudimentary layer design for dodge and burn effects, interfaces seamlessly with my photo library, and does most of what Lightroom does, but for a small fraction of the price. Caveats? The vignettes are pretty poor, there aren’t real layers yet, and sadly there is no universal binary. But this 2,99$ app is worth it for both the iPod/iPhone and iPad. Prop your iPad up in its nifty sleeve and enjoy full-featured, one-handed editing. If you’re interested in seeing what PhotoGene can do, check out my Flickr stream; most of my photos go from D200 to iPad through small Photogene adjustments and onto Photoshop.

Photogene Omer Shoor, Photogene (TMA Review), 4.10MB – $1.99

Photogene for iPad Omer Shoor, Photogene for iPad, 6.38MB – $2.99

Home Design 3D by LiveCad for iPad

There is no such thing as a cheap do-it-all portable alternative for true workstation CAD suites. Nevertheless Home Design 3D is killer. It’s square-based level designer isn’t the easiest to wrap your head around, but when you do, it’s intuitive and quick. LiveCad have added dozens of house add ons such as doors, windows, bathroom fixtures, and more. For a home interior designer, it’s got pretty much all you need. Adding other floors, basements, etc., is really sometimes foul, but overall, this app is killer. No matter the time of year, it comes at the top of my must-have list. The only thing that can be tricky to operate is the 3D view (yes, it has a 3D walkthrough of your house); all other features work great if you’ve only five fingers.

Home Design 3D By LiveCad - For iPad Anuman, Home Design 3D By LiveCad – For iPad, 46.22MB – $5.99

Home Design 3D By LiveCad - For iPhone Anuman, Home Design 3D By LiveCad – For iPhone, 52.89MB – $4.99

Infinity Blade

What’s a recommended app-list without a game? I’m not a big gamer, but I enjoy a good hack and slash now and then. Infinity Blade’s excellent (and easy) navigation and fighting interface is violent, yet incredibly easy to navigate. No matter how invalid you are, you can kill baddies with a single hand and look as bad as Boba Fett while doing it.

Infinity Blade Chair Entertainment Group, LLC, Infinity Blade (TMA Review), 583.93MB – $5.99

As much as I’ve enjoyed my break (get it, get it?), I’m enjoying getting back in the saddle even more. Instagram, as much as I love you, I do prefer to take time with an my Nikon FM2 or my D200. But, when I finally upgrade to an iPhone, I’ll be playing instantly with the likes of  Photogene and Instragram without the annoyance of a PC interface.

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Library App Reviews: Goodreads, iBookshelf and Book Crawler http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/03/31/library-apps-goodreads-and-more/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/03/31/library-apps-goodreads-and-more/#comments Thu, 31 Mar 2011 18:05:11 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=49893 Goodreads iBookshelf Book Crawler . We all love books, right? If you’re like me, your reading list is long and getting longer every day. We’ll never finish them all, but heck, when someone recommends a book, we probably still want to jot it down for future reference. A good list can be a real blessing when … Read more]]>
Goodreads iBookshelf Book Crawler

.
We all love books, right? If you’re like me, your reading list is long and getting longer every day. We’ll never finish them all, but heck, when someone recommends a book, we probably still want to jot it down for future reference.

A good list can be a real blessing when trying to remember an author or a book we’ve just read, finding the name of the next book in a series, or easily sharing our favorite books with friends.

The three apps reviewed here are excellent candidates for keeping track of all the books we love and all the books we want to read.

To find the best book library (or book list) manager app, you’ll have to figure out how you want to use it. Goodreads is best for those who use the Goodreads web service. If you don’t want to keep your books and personal preferences online or want to to have more flexibility in what you keep on your list, then Book Crawler or iBookshelf may be more in line with your needs.

######### Goodreads iBookshelf Book Crawler
Backup autosync
to website
Dropbox, E-Mail,
Desktop
Dropbox, E-Mail,
Desktop
Library Finder no WorldCat WorldCat
Author Info yes no no
Price Compare yes yes no
Goodreads Reviews yes yes yes
ISBN Scanner Red Laser pic2shop, ZBar,
Red Laser
pic2shop, ZBar
Import/Export CSV, others CSV CSV
Track Loans no yes yes
Offline Viewing no yes yes
Sharing Friends &
Followers
E-mail, Twitter,
Facebook
E-mail, Twitter,
Facebook
Universal App no yes yes

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Free versions exist for all these apps, so you can try them out yourself first before selecting one.

Individual books, audiobooks and ebooks may be added manually (author & title) or by scanning the ISBN barcode – the rest of the information is automatically looked up. I did not test any of the apps on an iPod Touch or iPad 2 – though the reliability of their cameras for scanning barcodes could be an issue unless Red Laser is used.

One feature all these apps have in common is that they can import and export their data as CSV (comma separated value) files which can be opened in word processors and spreadsheets. For bulk updates, like when you want to copy your books from a paper list or external book database (or move it from one app to another), you’ll probably have to do a little CSV editing to make the transfer, but it does work without too much effort (I’ve done it).

Once you’ve added your books, these apps let you organize, track (ownership, loans, want-to-buy, etc.), and share your books with others. Plus you’ll have searchable list whenever you need them.

Warning: Any time you store lots of information on your iDevice, it is essential that it gets backed up regularly. The device backup that occurs when you do a sync to your computer does not save 3rd party app data. One glitch or a bad update and all your work can be lost. Both iBookshelf and Book Crawler have excellent backup and restore database features, but they are manual – you must remember to do it. Goodreads auto-syncs to the cloud, so you don’t have to worry about it.

 


Goodreads v1.2.1

If you’re a book lover and haven’t taken a look at the Goodreads web site yet, I highly encourage you to do so. One might call it a “Facebook for Book Lovers” (but without all the craziness and noise). On Goodreads you’ll find over 4 million members who have created an astounding collection of books, reviews and recommendations far larger than anything else you’re likely to find – and it’s free! You can meet new friends there (or invite your existing friends) to share reviews and recommendations for the books you’ve read and/or want to read.

The Goodreads app (it’s also free!) has the most polished user interface of the three apps reviewed here for the iPhone, but it does require an active data connection to display more than just a simple list of books.This app allows you to add books to your personal on-line collection (scan in the ISBN or enter title/author), find out what your friends are reading, and build your wishlist by perusing lists of books others love.

My all time favorite: Dandelion Wine!

Goodreads has a vast pool of information such as author pictures and bios, lots of detailed user reviews and info any bibliophile would love. Since it’s maintained by volunteer librarians, it isn’t always perfect, but there are plenty of people (librarians) who will make corrections if you alert them on the forums – or become a librarian yourself.

I was disappointed that the series number of a book is not displayed in the app (like it is on the web) unless the number is included in the title. This may not be an issue for everyone, but I like to follow author’s characters chronologically.

Summary

For anyone with a Goodreads account, this app is a must-have. It provides a good clean interface, book scanning capability (device camera required) and auto-syncs to your web account. Note that a data connection (cellular or WiFi) is required to use the app. The app has not (yet?) been enhanced for the iPad.

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Goodreads Developer: Goodreads
Reviewed Ver: 1.2.1 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: Free App Size: 9.5 MB
  • Ties into your Goodreads account
  • Instantly syncs all updates to Goodreads cloud (this is goodness)
  • Lots of information about books including details of many editions
  • Must-have for Goodreads users
  • Requires an online connection to display more than a simple book list
  • No series info displayed in-app unless included in title (which many are)
  • Can’t add additional information about books other than comments and tags

appstoreicon

 


 

iBookshelf v2.10.1

This app is part of a group of similar media database apps for books (iBookshelf), movies (MyBoxOffice) and music (Disk Tracker) which are also available in an all-in-one app called My Library that contains all their features. If you’re interested in tracking more than just your books, take a look at My Library. Free Lite versions also exist for all these apps.

iBookshelf is an easy app to use with a broad feature set. Books can be sorted 8 ways and a collections feature exists to group books together into named subsets for separate sorting and viewing. You can also customize the app’s look and feel through its settings in the Settings app. The iPad and iPhone user interfaces are fairly similar.

This app is unable to fill out book information from online sources once a book is saved in its database. So after importing CSV files or manually adding a book without doing an online search for data, you can’t make the app look it up later. If books are entered one at a time, however, this usually shouldn’t be a problem.

Local libraries containing the books you wish to read can be listed and Dropbox backup/restore are available as in Book Crawler (backup/restore is essential in any app that saves data on your iDevice). If you own the QuickReader or MegaReader apps, iBookshelf has a custom interface that connects to them from the app itself. Like Goodreads, it has a Red Laser scanning camera interface which works well with lower resolution cameras, plus it can autoselect the best camera based on the device being used. If you want to get book recommendations, it also contains an interface to the iRecommends app.

Summary

While perhaps not as polished as the other two apps, iBookshelf does a good job with collecting data. It has a very motivated developer who is open to feature requests and who makes frequent updates. I tested a soon to be released version that is focused on stability improvements (something each of these 3 apps under review could use).

Tap It Rating - 3/5

App Summary
Title: iBookshelf
iBookshelf Lite (free)
Developer: Josh Pressnell
Reviewed Ver: 2.10.1 Min OS Req: 3.1
Price: $1.99 App Size: 6.5 MB
  • Scans up to 16 data sources for book information
  • Interface to QuickReader and MegaReader for e-books
  • Connects to iRecommend app to get book recommendations
  • Universal app
  • Can’t autofill additional information about a book once it has been saved
  • User interface is functional but occasionally awkward to use
  • Documentation is only on web site
  • Backup is manual

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Book Crawler v3.1

Of the three apps reviewed, Book Crawler has the most pleasing user interface (especially on the iPad) and provides the most flexiblity to customize your library. More information is collected and displayed by this app than the others. If your goal is to include a lot of information about your books, then this app will give you the best experience.

Book Crawler has a dedicated Author section where you can view and rate individual authors and look for other books they’ve published. Besides the standard book data fields, Book Crawler includes several custom fields that can be labeled and used to add additional information about your books, like who recommended a book, the date added to your database, etc. Additional authors (or narrators for audiobooks) can be added as well to any book.

Book Crawler has the most flexible interface for adding new books individually or in batch. Most data fields can be given default values from the app settings panel and CSV data can be input in almost any order. Like iBookShelf, the number in a book series is either automatically added or easily entered later and books can be sorted based on your choice of 18 data fields.

Book Crawler can tag books with multiple labels and you can build smart collections (groups of books) based on complex rule sets. For example, you could create a collection of books marked with the tag “Female Protagonist” that were published after the year 2005 with a 4 star or better rating and are owned by you. Any book matching this criteria is automatically added to the collection.

Summary

From a feature standpoint, this app is hard to beat plus it looks great. I ran into some intermittent stability problems, but nothing serious and overall it delivers all one would want. Good documentation exists throughout the app to help one learn how to use it. The app has a very motivated developer who makes frequent improvements and gives quick responses to questions.

Kiss It Rating - 5/5

App Summary
Title: Book Crawler
Book Crawler Lite (free)
Developer: Jaime Stokes
Reviewed Ver: 3.1.1 Min OS Req: 3.1
Price: $1.99 App Size: 6.5 MB
  • Attractive and functional user interface (especially on the iPad)
  • List and rate authors
  • Lookup additional books by author
  • Several custom data fields
  • Good in-app documentation
  • Smart Collections
  • Universal app
  • Correcting misspelled author names is best done by delete/replace
  • A few features (e.g., collections, adding multiple editions) are awkward to use
  • Backup is manual

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Dracula: The Official Stoker Family Edition Giveaway – Win an iPad and 1 of 10 copies http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/10/29/dracula-the-official-stoker-family-edition-giveaway-win-an-ipad-and-10-copies/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/10/29/dracula-the-official-stoker-family-edition-giveaway-win-an-ipad-and-10-copies/#comments Fri, 29 Oct 2010 20:46:03 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=41816 Released just a little over a week ago, Dracula: The Official Stoker Family Edition app was not only well received by iPad users, but it was also chosen as iTunes’ “App of the Week” upon launch. For those of you who are not familiar with developer PadWorx Digital Media’s first foray into the App Store, … Read more]]>

iPad Screenshot 1

Released just a little over a week ago, Dracula: The Official Stoker Family Edition app was not only well received by iPad users, but it was also chosen as iTunes’ “App of the Week” upon launch. For those of you who are not familiar with developer PadWorx Digital Media’s first foray into the App Store, Dracula for the iPad puts a new spin on the classic novel by Bram Stoker. The interactive app is likely one of the most unique ebooks you’ll come across on your iPad. Users can drag a lantern around the screen to read certain journal entries and “blow” leaves off the tombstones to reveal writing beneath, among other neat interactions.

And now with Halloween just around the corner, PadWorx is also running a contest, where an iPad and 10 copies of Dracula are up for grabs. You don’t even have to purchase the app to enter! Check out the simple instructions for your chance to win after the gap.

Dracula: The Official Stoker Family Edition PadWorx, Dracula: The Official Stoker Family Edition, 542 MB – $4.99

PadWorx Digital Media iPad and App Giveaway:

All you need to do is visit PadWorx’s Facebook page and and click on the “Like” button near the very top. That’s it! Of course, you’ll need to have a Facebook profile before you can “Like” them (or “Become a Fan” as it was previously known on Facebook).

You must do so before the stroke of midnight on Halloween (11:59 PST Oct 31st) if you want your ballot to count. The winner of the iPad will ship free of charge in North America. If the winner resides elsewhere, he/she will be responsible for the shipping fees. Good luck and happy Halloween!

App Description

Dracula: The Official Stoker Family Edition puts a new, interactive twist on the classic 1897 novel written by Bram Stoker. Featuring more than 600 illustrations and almost 300 pages of carefully abridged text, this reader-driven experience brings the Dracula story to life in a rich, interactive way. From lighting up the words on a page with a lantern, unsealing the mysteries of letters and journal entries, blowing the leaves off of tombstones to reveal the writing beneath, and even using your own “blood” to reveal hidden text on a page, you are intimately immersed in the storytelling.

As you read you can uncover images, audio and film from the earliest days of the Dracula legacy, some never before released to the public. An original musical score, plus 21 songs from indie rock performers Adaline, Christa Couture, Emily Spiller, Eve and the Ocean, and Phoebe Sharp set the tone in each chapter of the book and enhances the immersive experience. This is the only book of its kind to be officially endorsed by the Stoker Family Estate.

Dracula: The Official Stoker Family Edition is the first title in a series of new, interactive eBooks created for iPad by PadWorx Digital Media Inc. Built from the ground up on PadWorx’s proprietary game engine, this revolutionary vision of what an eBook reading experience should be creates the definitive user-driven experience through text, animation, gameplay-like elements and touch screen technology.

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Apple refuse to sell DRM-free eBooks http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/08/30/apple-refuse-to-sell-drm-free-ebooks/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/08/30/apple-refuse-to-sell-drm-free-ebooks/#comments Mon, 30 Aug 2010 07:18:36 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=38530 Canadian Science Fiction giant, Cory Doctorow, has put up a nice piece about why Apple and Sony suck. Rather than getting into boring techie talk, he very stealthily opines as a writer who longs for a DRM-less world, one where users can share, buy, borrow, and lend digital content as easily as they do non-digital … Read more]]>

Image courtesy of funny-potato.com/blog

Canadian Science Fiction giant, Cory Doctorow, has put up a nice piece about why Apple and Sony suck. Rather than getting into boring techie talk, he very stealthily opines as a writer who longs for a DRM-less world, one where users can share, buy, borrow, and lend digital content as easily as they do non-digital content. As a content creator, his is a unique and important viewpoint that clashes directly with antiquated pro-Bono business models. Doctorow’s body of science fiction is captivatingly modern and so too are his finger-to-the-man opinions that hopefully, will help change the way digital books are circulated.

Surprise, surprise: Apple and Sony rejected Cory’s idea of circulating DRM-free paid versions of his books with the following note below, while Kindle, Nook, and Kobo stores embraced the idea. This is the note that Cory wants added to his books (from Craphound):

“If the seller of this electronic version has imposed contractual or technical restrictions on it such that you have difficulty reformatting or converting this book for use on another device or in another program, please visit http://craphound.com for alternate, open format versions, authorized by the copyright holder for this work, Cory Doctorow. While Cory Doctorow cannot release you from any contractual or other legal obligations to anyone else that you may have agreed to when purchasing this version, you have his blessing to do anything that is consistent with applicable copyright laws in your jurisdiction.”

If an author, whose livelihood is supported by his work, can support DRM-free and even FREE content, why can’t Apple and Sony? It is simple Gorden Gekko-esque greed, based in stodgy economic models, that gets in the way. Apple may have abandoned DRM in music files in 2007′s big digital-brouhaha, but they’ve hardly left the backwards business model that trusts no one. Their stitch against the suggestion, of course, points to Craphound where all of Cory’s novels are freely downloadable. His works not only come in every format under the sun, but they come Braveheart free.

Whether or not Apple allow content creators to SELL DRM-free books isn’t the issue here; it’s why they don’t allow the above addendum to be included in the iBooks Store.

You can read more from Cory Doctorow all over the net, but his most famous haunts are his personal blog: Craphound, and BoingBoing, a popular geek site he and a few mates pioneered.

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Kindle for iOS gets audio and video http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/06/28/kindle-for-ios-gets-audio-and-video/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/06/28/kindle-for-ios-gets-audio-and-video/#comments Mon, 28 Jun 2010 14:01:20 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=35239 God bless Amazon and God bless books. Having conquered one-click home shopping and set the stage for quality eBook readers, Amazon have augmented Kindle for iOS with audio and video features despite Apple’s attacks. AppleInsider note that many old titles such as “Les Miserables” have received loving digital audio/video shots in the arm. Augmented titles can … Read more]]>

Amazon's audio/video eBook selection

God bless Amazon and God bless books. Having conquered one-click home shopping and set the stage for quality eBook readers, Amazon have augmented Kindle for iOS with audio and video features despite Apple’s attacksAppleInsider note that many old titles such as “Les Miserables” have received loving digital audio/video shots in the arm. Augmented titles can be licensed starting at 9.99$ and are ‘yours’ to keep an eye on and never lend, loan, or show anyone else, ever.

You can get started at Amazon’s audio/video book selection.

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Goodreads in Review – Be A Bookworm, Any Time, Any Place! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/03/16/goodreads-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/03/16/goodreads-in-review/#comments Tue, 16 Mar 2010 23:07:20 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=29614 For book lovers reading this, chances are you already know what Goodreads is. If not, it’s basically a social network for readers. According to their website, it’s the largest of its kind in the world, with in excess of 3 million members. The website allows you to become friends with people, recommend books, get recommendations, … Read more]]>

For book lovers reading this, chances are you already know what Goodreads is. If not, it’s basically a social network for readers. According to their website, it’s the largest of its kind in the world, with in excess of 3 million members.

The website allows you to become friends with people, recommend books, get recommendations, see reviews and scores and add books to your ‘shelves.’ Your virtual shelves are read, currently reading and to-read. It’s free to join, and the iPhone/iPod Touch App is also free to download and use. Feel free to discuss this review of Goodreads in our forums.

The Goodreads App basically allows you to administer your account on the go. If you don’t have a Goodreads account, the only features you’ll be able to use in the App are searching for book reviews and browsing popular titles. So, if you do have an account it’s well worth signing in so you have full functionality. If you don’t have an account but you’re a keen reader – I’d recommend signing up.

The great thing about this App is its portability. How many times have you stood in a bookstore, seen a book you’d like to read, then got home and forgotten all about it? Not any more! You can add the book to your to-read list so you can come back and grab it at a later date. If you’re anything like me, you might also use it to find out if you’ve already read a certain book!

Alternatively, you could be in the book shop umm-ing and ahh-ing about whether to part with your hard-earned cash on a certain book. The marketing blurb may have convinced you, but you want to hear it from the consumers! No problem; just open the Goodreads App, search for reviews and get other people’s thoughts before whipping out your wallet or purse. You could save yourself a considerable amount of money on rubbish reads!

Other features in the App include the ability, like many other social networks, to update your status. It’s completely up to you whether this is book related or not, but I guess it’s what your friends will be expecting. You can also post your own book reviews from your iDevice, ideal if you’re away from your computer but want to post your review whilst the book is fresh in your mind. You can also check out your friends and see what statuses, reviews and recommendations they’re posting; not to mention having a browse of their virtual bookshelves.

If you’re looking to pass some time, or want to look for something new, but you’re not sure what, then the Explore function is for you. Check out Listopia lists, which range from The Book Was Better Than The Movie to Great Vampire Books That Aren’t Twilight. You can also browse books by Genre, and Popular Books.

The Events Near Me function didn’t work – but I’m not sure if this is because I’m in the UK. I used the in-built GPS function to find my location, but given the nearest event was in Southlake, TX, I think something went wrong!

The layout of the App is nothing flashy, but then it doesn’t need to be. It’s functional and easy to use – in my opinion, there’s nothing more you could really want.

In a nutshell, the Goodreads App allows you to keep your friends updated on what you’re reading and how far you’ve progressed, and they can do the same to you. Find new books, rate old ones and check out what’s hot right now!

Goodreads is free, and more functionality has been promised in later releases, so really you’ve got nothing to lose! And if you’re on there, feel free to search for me!

grab

App Summary
Title: Goodreads Developer: Goodreads
Reviewed Ver: 1.0.1 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: Free App Size: 1.2 MB
  • Free
  • Huge membership, so it’s easier to hook up with people
  • Easy to use
  • Not a flashy interface – but it doesn’t need to be
  • Useful App to have when out and about
  • Events Near Me function didn’t work, I suspect because I’m in the UK

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eBooks – Safe smut for the iPhone http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/02/12/ebooks-safe-smut-for-the-iphone/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/02/12/ebooks-safe-smut-for-the-iphone/#comments Fri, 12 Feb 2010 07:40:46 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=27881 For some time now, the App Store has been getting press due to the fact that there is no pornographic material on sale. Apps which manage to slip through, whether it be by pulling the wool over Apple’s eyes – or for some other reason – have been removed. I, however, may have the answer … Read more]]>

For some time now, the App Store has been getting press due to the fact that there is no pornographic material on sale. Apps which manage to slip through, whether it be by pulling the wool over Apple’s eyes – or for some other reason – have been removed. I, however, may have the answer – for some of you, at least.

As an iPhone owner and avid reader – I started experimenting with reading books and stories on my device. Naturally, I coupled this with my love of reading and writing erotica. Therefore, I discovered it’s actually very easy to get some smut onto your iPhone, and it’s all perfectly sanctioned.

First and foremost, snag yourself an eBook reader. A PDF reader is all well and good, but because many books aren’t necessarily optimised to be read on such a small screen you may find yourself having to zoom into the text then swipe from side to side just to read single lines of text. It’s not ideal, and I quickly abandoned this.

One suggestion for an App is eBooks by Kobo. The App itself is free and you purchase books directly from Kobo. There are also lots of freebies available, so you can try them out for yourself before deciding whether you want to part with any cash. The only downside to this is you can only read books in the App which you have purchased from Kobo – so no importing previously owned books.

Another, perhaps more obvious suggestion is Amazon’s Kindle, another excellent and free app. You do, however, have the same problem as with Kobo. If you’re purchasing Kindle books, it’s fine. The service utilises something called Whispernet, so if you want to read the same books on your iPhone and you also own a Kindle, it’ll sync between the two machines, saving your page and everything: it is ingenious. However, on the iPhone version of Kindle, you can’t import books not purchased from Amazon Kindle, which is a bit of a bummer. If you’ve splashed out on the dedicated machine, you are given a Kindle email address so you can send various documents to it to read. Not so on the iPhone version. I guess it’s their way of trying to upsell people.

Now, both of the above apps are great ereaders, and they have a wide variety of erotica available, and some of it is very competitively priced. If you look around, you’ll even be able to snag yourself some freebies. However, other than the downsides I’ve already mentioned – there’s another. The Amazon Kindle site is currently very US-centric. So if you’re not residing in the States and you have a problem with doing your shopping in US dollars, you’ve got a problem. If not, however – knock yourself out! You may also find that some books are not licensed to be sold to the country you reside in.

As well as accessing books through third party ereaders, you can also purchase books directly through the App Store. Doing a search for erotica brings up endless material which you can purchase for your entertainment. However, just to narrow it down for you, keep your eyes peeled for Andrews UK Ltd, who are the company which put Xcite Books’ titles onto the iPhone. I’ve actually had stories appear in several of their anthologies, and I also review regularly for them, so can vouch for the quality. The Apps are well designed for purpose, with nice large text and no need to keep scrolling around the page to read. Again, the titles are competitively priced, usually a fair bit cheaper than the paperback version.

So – there you have it. A legitimate way to have something hot and sexy on your iPhone, without breaking any Applaws. Like me, you’ll probably find yourself with all three of the above options on your device, as well as purchasing another App which does allow you to import other PDFs and display them in an easy to read way.

Another added bonus to having erotic ebooks on your device is the fact that you can read them anywhere, anytime. No front cover means no embarrassment, and you don’t have to worry about hiding them under your bed! So go on, give it a try – and if you find that perfect ereading App for importing existing books – please let me know!

This article was brought to you by TouchMyApps Contributor Lucy Felthouse. You can find her on Twitter here

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eBooks by Kobo in Review – sold! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/02/10/ebooks-by-kobo-in-review-%e2%80%93-sold/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/02/10/ebooks-by-kobo-in-review-%e2%80%93-sold/#comments Wed, 10 Feb 2010 07:06:27 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=27801 For a long time, I was unconvinced when it came to ebooks. Having downloaded a couple, I found that trying to read them on my laptop screen was just a waste of time. I’d look at the words and my eyes would travel down the page, but I wouldn’t take a word of it in. … Read more]]>

For a long time, I was unconvinced when it came to ebooks. Having downloaded a couple, I found that trying to read them on my laptop screen was just a waste of time. I’d look at the words and my eyes would travel down the page, but I wouldn’t take a word of it in. So I gave up on ebooks and went back to my beloved physical ones. That is, until eBooks by Kobo came along. As you may have guessed from my previous comments, I don’t own an eBook reader, and previous experience was doing nothing to convince me I should part with my hard-earned cash in order to get one. This has all changed. This free app simply installs onto your device and makes it into your very own ereader! Granted, it’s considerably smaller than most available on the market, but it does the job. Feel free to discuss eBooks by Kobo in our forums.

It’s difficult to know where to start with this app because there’s so much to it. Firstly, and most importantly of course, there’s the interface. It’s light, clean and modern, and very easy to navigate. You have your ‘I’m Reading’ menu, which includes all the books you’ve added to your list, so you can find them easily when you fire up the programme. You can display these in list or shelf format, dependent on how you prefer to see your reads.

Then you have the ‘Discover’ tab, which is where Kobo really shines. There are endless options for you to choose from here in order to find your perfect book. These include Featured, NYT Bestsellers in Fiction and Non-Fiction, Staff Picks, Under 5 Bucks (always a good choice), Prize Winners and Vampire Fiction. So if you’re not entirely sure what you want to read next, there are tonnes of ways you can find something. The ‘Browse’ menu is much more a standard way you’d expect to pick up your next book – this is sectioned by Genre and Sub-Genre. Me being me, I navigated straight to Romance>Adult, where interestingly I found 151 books to sink my fangs into. Not many you may think, but it’s fairly niche. Looking at the Romance section as a whole, you have a whopping 4,215 books to choose from – and it’s being added to all the time. Naturally, if you know what you’re looking for, you can search for it.

When you’ve chosen from the zillions of books available what you want to read, you still have lots of options available to you to give the best experience possible. The default view is black text on a white background, but a function called ‘Night Reading’ reverses this, which would make things easier on the eye if you were reading in low light, or possibly didn’t want to have the light on for fear of keeping a partner awake or something. You can also put on Rotation Lock, which is invaluable because if like me, you like to get right into bed to read, you’ll find your iPhone screen wanting to flip round if you move your hand just a little too much. Other options include changing your page and text colour, how your page behaves when you ‘turn’ it, font size, font type, line spacing and more. Basically, you’re able to tweak every aspect of your reading experience until it’s perfect for you. Which is fantastic, particularly for a free app.

Once you’ve read a book or story, you can choose to Read Related, Email to Friends, Rate This and Tweet This – all of which are excellent additions to an already clever app. The prices aren’t too bad either. I actually compared a couple of prices to Amazon’s Kindle and found them cheaper. So if this was true across the board, then I think Amazon have a serious competitor on their hands.

In summary, Kobo has helped convert me to ebooks. I’ll never abandon real books, but this app has shown me that there is a comfortable way to read ebooks that isn’t a laptop screen. I will definitely continue to use this app and hopefully as the platform gains popularity there will become more and more content available for you to read. As it stands, you can get quite a lot of free content, so if you’re not sold on this concept, download the free app and a couple of free books and stories and give it a try for yourself. You can even read sample chapters of books you’re unsure about. I didn’t think I’d ever be convinced on the ebook concept – but I am now.

App Summary
Title: eBooks by Kobo Developer: Indigo Books and Music Inc.
Reviewed Ver: 2.4 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: Free App Size: 1.1 MB
  • Plenty of books to choose from
  • Competitively priced
  • Lots of options to enhance your experience
  • Text easy to read and absorb
  • Excellent categorisation of books
  • Easy to find and browse titles
  • Nice layout
  • You can’t import any ebooks you already have in other formats
  • No option to post to Facebook
  • Heavily catered to American audience

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