7 Best Reading Apps

Sep 23, 2020 | Reading

Best Reading Apps

If you’re a book nerd, chances are you probably have at least one or two… or five reading apps on your phone or tablet. Well, you’re in good company. Today, I will share with you some of my favorite reading apps. Some of these are paid apps, but some are free so there’s an option for everyone.

This post is not sponsored by anyone, and all the apps I’m recommending I do truly enjoy. For one of these apps, the Scribd app, I have a referral link down below. If you use the referral link you’ll get a 60 day free trial instead of just 30 and if you love the app and keep it after your trial period, then I get 30 days free membership. So I’m hoping you love it.


Paid Apps:


So I will start with some of the most popular reading apps. So the first one on this list is Audible. I’ve really gotten into audiobooks over the past several years. I used to not like audiobooks, cause I always felt like my mind would wonder and think about other things if I don’t have a book in front of me, but I’ve since gotten used to audiobooks and I love them now.

With my audible subscription I get one credit a month for any book, plus an additional 30% discount for other books for having a membership. However, I realize audible books can be pricey so usually I just use my free credit for the books. Memberships for Audible start at $14.95.

What I also like about audible is if you don’t end up liking the audiobook you got, you’ve got an entire year to exchange it for something else. So you’re not stuck with a book you hate taking up space in your library, you can trade it for something else.

The only exception to this rule is if the book is an audible original book since members can pick 2 audible original books a month for free and that’s on top of your credit you get each month. So since the originals ones are free, those you’re stuck with, but you don’t have to pick any audible original books if you don’t want. It’s simply a bonus for members.

Amazon Kindle

The next reading app is Amazon Kindle. I’m not going to talk too much about this one because most people already know what it is, how it works, and the perks of it. Second, I’m not a huge ebook reader so I don’t use this app too much. However, I know there are many people who love ebooks, which is why it’s on this list. Now I will say the good thing about ebooks is you can highlight and write notes in the book, which obviously you can’t do with audiobooks. You can do that with physical books, but it seems kind of easier with ebooks.

Also with Amazon Kindle, there are some ebooks you can get that have the audiobook pairing. So you can go back and forth between listening or reading or, like me, do both at the same time. With your kindle app, you can either buy ebooks from Amazon or read books with your kindle Unlimited subscription or if you have a prime membership, then with your prime reading.

A lot of the books included in your prime reading are also books included in the kindle unlimited, so you don’t have to have both subscriptions, however, I think kindle unlimited has a larger selection of books in their library than prime reading. So some books available in kindle unlimited will not be available in the prime reading. That’s something to be aware of.

Also with Kindle Unlimited, you can only have 10 books borrowed at a time, so if you want another one, you must return a book. So in this sense it works, kind of like a library you don’t get to keep the books, unless you bought it outside of your subscription.



The next app is one where you can also listen to audiobooks, read ebooks, and even news articles, magazines, and case studies. It’s been called the Netflix for books, which made me skeptical of it as first, cause I’ve tried other apps that have been called the Netflix for books and they usually end up sucking cause their library is so limited, but this one I like and can see why it’s called the Netflix for books.

This one is Scribd. You get a 30-day free trial with them (or 60 days if you sign up with my referral link) and then it’s $8.99 a month for membership. But unlike audible you’re not just getting a credit for one free book or audiobook, with Scribd you get access to their entire library for that membership fee.

They have an amazing variety of books including new releases and best-selling authors like Sarah J. Maas, Cassandra Clare, Victoria Aveyard, and more. So it really is like Netflix for books, the only downside however is like Netflix, the books rotate in and out. Which means they’re not there forever, they may be available for a while and then get taken off the list so if you see a book on there you really want to read, I’d suggest taking advantage and reading it as soon as you can cause you never know when it will be removed from the list.

Some other perks of having a Scribd membership is it also gives you free membership to their other partners such as Pandora Plus, CuriosityStream, & others.





The last paid reading app on this list is called Blinkist. Now I will only recommend this app if you love to read non-fiction books (think personal development books), AND you’re super busy and short on time and don’t have time to read an entire book.

This app allows you to get the key points from a book summarized in short “blinks” as they call them. They have a free 7-day trial, but if you don’t cancel after the trial period you’re automatically enrolled in their annual subscription, which costs about $100, so be careful with this one. Their other subscription plan is a monthly fee for $15.99 but there’s no trial period with this option.

Again this app won’t be for everyone, but if you love non-fiction books and you’re short on time and just want to get the key points from a book, then this could be a good one for you.

I used this app back when I was working full time as a counselor and I like it, but if I really like a book then I’d prefer to read the whole thing, not just the summaries. On the plus side, if you’re not sure about a book or whether you’ll like it, it could help you decide whether or not to pick it up.

Free Apps



Now let’s get to the free reading apps. Yay! The first one I’ll recommend is overdrive and/or Libby. These apps are connected to your public library and require you to use your library card to access them.

Overdrive and Libby are pretty much the same, I actually think they’re sister apps so they have the same features and functions. There’s really no difference between them except for the interface appearance. I like the interface of overdrive better than Libby, but I’m more used to overdrive, I’ve been using it for a lot longer so that’s probably why I prefer it.

I think maybe depending on where you live one might be available over the other, for instance, maybe your library only uses Libby or only Overdrive, my library offers them both so I can use whichever one I want, but there’s really no difference. Not even in terms of selections of books, or hold times, wait times, all of that is exactly the same on both apps.

You can borrow up to 10 ebooks or audiobooks at a time, unless your library is different. I’d check with your local library rules to see what the policy is for borrowing or placing holds. For my library I can borrow up to 10 ebooks or audiobooks at a time & I can have up to 8 books on hold at a time. So definitely check with your library on the rules, but these are great apps to have.



The next free reading app is called Hoopla. This is another library app. For me and my library, I can also borrow up to 10 books per month with Hoopla. The cool thing about hoopla is there’s never a wait time or a hold time. Every single time I’ve borrowed a book from that app, I’ve been able to get it immediately without having to wait or put in a request.

With Hoopla, not only do they have e-books and audiobooks, but they have movies and music you can listen to. And, if you have a fire stick, you can get hoopla on your fire stick and watch movies from there, or listen to music, or have audiobooks play on your TV.



The last reading app on this list is Goodreads. Goodreads has its pros & cons. I know some people don’t like it cause they feel pressured by the Goodreads challenge or they don’t like the rating system or other reasons, but I like Goodreads.

Now Goodreads is not an app where you can read or listen to books. It’s meant for organizing your books, rating & reviewing them, & creating book discussions with other users. It’s got a lot of cool features, but also some features you probably won’t bother using.

I use it to keep track of the books I’ve read, books I want to read, and books I’m currently reading. I don’t mind doing the Goodreads challenge, but I don’t pressure myself to complete it or not. If I do great, if I don’t it’s not the end of the world.


So that’s it for today. These are the best reading apps that I know of. If you know of any others, share them in the comments below, and also if you’ve tried any of these apps, let me know what you liked or didn’t like about them.

Until next time,

Happy reading & writing!